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37th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 110

CONTENTS

Tuesday, November 6, 2001




1000
V ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
V     Order in Council Appointments
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

1005
V     Government Response to Petitions
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V     Veterans Affairs
V         Hon. Ronald Duhamel (Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.)

1010
V         Mr. Roy Bailey (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC)

1015
V         Mr. Louis Plamondon (Bas-Richelieu--Nicolet--Bécancour, BQ)

1020
V         Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NDP)
V         Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John, PC/DR)

1025
V         The Speaker
V     Committees of the House
V         Procedure and House Affairs
V         Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)
V         (Motion agreed to)

1030
V         Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)
V         (Motion agreed to)
V     Petitions
V         Remembrance Day
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, Canadian Alliance)
V         Kidney Disease
V         Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)
V         Mail Couriers
V         Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)
V     Questions on the Order Paper
V         Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         The Speaker
V Government Orders
V     Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act
V         Speaker's Ruling
V         The Speaker

1035
V         Motions in Amendment
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor--St. Clair, NDP)
V         Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance)
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor--St. Clair, NDP)

1040

1045
V         Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance)

1050
V         Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

1055

1100
V         Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)

1105

1110
V         Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney--Alouette, PC/DR)

1115

1120
V         Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Bras d'Or--Cape Breton, Lib.)

1125
V         Mr. Jim Abbott (Kootenay--Columbia, Canadian Alliance)

1130

1135
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (Jonquière, BQ)

1140

1145
V         Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre, Lib.)

1150

1155

1200
V         Mr. Clifford Lincoln (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.)

1205
V         Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

1210
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance)
V         (Motion No. 3 withdrawn)
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         The Deputy Speaker

1215
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor--St. Clair, NDP)
V         Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance)
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor--St. Clair, NDP)
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         Mr. Joe Comartin
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor--St. Clair, NDP)

1220

1225
V         Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance)

1230

1235
V         Mr. Robert Lanctôt (Châteauguay, BQ)

1240
V         Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney--Alouette, PC/DR)

1245
V         Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

1250
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

1255
V         Mr. Yvon Godin
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         Mr. Geoff Regan
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V Private Members' Business
V      Canada Labour Code
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)

1300

1305

1310
V         Mr. Gurbax Malhi (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, Lib.)

1315
V     Business of the House
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         (Motion agreed to)
V     Canada Labour Code
V         Mr. Gurbax Malhi (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, Lib.)

1320
V         Mr. Dale Johnston (Wetaskiwin, Canadian Alliance)

1325
V         Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

1330

1335
V         Mr. Norman Doyle (St. John's East, PC/DR)

1340

1345
V         Mr. Antoine Dubé (Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, BQ)

1350
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V         Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

1355
V STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
V     Veterans Week
V         Mr. Janko Peric (Cambridge, Lib.)
V     Softwood Lumber
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, Canadian Alliance)

1400
V     Prayer for Peace
V         Mr. Bill Graham (Toronto Centre--Rosedale, Lib.)
V     Asbestos Region Hospital Centre
V         Mr. Gérard Binet (Frontenac--Mégantic, Lib.)
V     Firefighters
V         Mrs. Karen Kraft Sloan (York North, Lib.)
V     Illicit Drugs
V         Mr. Philip Mayfield (Cariboo--Chilcotin, Canadian Alliance)
V     Centrinity Inc.
V         Mr. Bryon Wilfert (Oak Ridges, Lib.)

1405
V     Airline Industry
V         Mr. Stéphan Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay, BQ)
V     Sports
V         Ms. Beth Phinney (Hamilton Mountain, Lib.)
V     Veterans Week
V         Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, Canadian Alliance)
V     National Defence
V         Mr. David Pratt (Nepean--Carleton, Lib.)
V     Jean-François Breau
V         Mr. Yvon Godin (Acadie--Bathurst, NDP)

1410
V     Financial Services
V         Mr. Réal Ménard (Hochelaga--Maisonneuve, BQ)
V     Remembrance Day
V         Mrs. Rose-Marie Ur (Lambton--Kent--Middlesex, Lib.)
V     Down Syndrome
V         Mr. André Bachand (Richmond--Arthabaska, PC/DR)
V     Teknion Corporation
V         Ms. Judy Sgro (York West, Lib.)
V     Supplementary Estimates
V         Mr. John Williams (St. Albert, Canadian Alliance)

1415
V ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
V     Softwood Lumber
V         Mr. Stockwell Day (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V         Mr. Stockwell Day (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V         Mr. Stockwell Day (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V     National Security
V         Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Canadian Alliance)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

1420
V         Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. John Manley (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V     Softwood Lumber
V         Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier--Sainte-Marie, BQ)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)
V         Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier--Sainte-Marie, BQ)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V         Mr. Pierre Paquette (Joliette, BQ)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

1425
V         Mr. Pierre Paquette (Joliette, BQ)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)
V         Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V         Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC/DR)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

1430
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, PC/DR)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)
V         Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)
V         Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Canadian Alliance)
V         Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V     The Economy
V         Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot, BQ)
V         Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V         Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot, BQ)

1435
V         Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Anti-Terrorism Legislation
V         Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
V         Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ)
V         Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ)

1440
V         Hon. John Manley (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V     Immigration
V         Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster--Coquitlam--Burnaby, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)
V         Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster--Coquitlam--Burnaby, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)
V     Health
V         Mr. Steve Mahoney (Mississauga West, Lib.)
V         Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V     Employment Insurance
V         Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP)
V         Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

1445
V     Softwood Lumber
V         Mr. Yvon Godin (Acadie--Bathurst, NDP)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland--Colchester, PC/DR)
V         Hon. John Manley (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V     National Defence
V         Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John, PC/DR)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V     Employment Insurance
V         Mr. Joe Peschisolido (Richmond, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)
V         Mr. Joe Peschisolido (Richmond, Canadian Alliance)

1450
V         Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Airline Industry
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil--Papineau--Mirabel, BQ)
V         Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
V         Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil--Papineau--Mirabel, BQ)
V         Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
V     Immigration
V         Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)
V         Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. Alfonso Gagliano (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V     Public Service of Canada
V         Mr. Eugène Bellemare (Ottawa--Orléans, Lib.)
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure, Lib.)

1455
V     Airport Security
V         Mr. James Moore (Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
V         Mr. James Moore (Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam, Canadian Alliance)
V         Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
V     Publishing Industry
V         Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)
V         Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)
V     Industry Canada
V         Mr. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa--Vanier, Lib.)
V         Hon. Brian Tobin (Minister of Industry, Lib.)
V     Firearms Registry
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton--Melville, Canadian Alliance)

1500
V         Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
V     Softwood Lumber
V         Mr. Gary Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands, PC/DR)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)
V     Presence in Gallery
V         The Speaker

1505
V Government Orders
V     Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act
V         The Speaker

1515
V     (Division 160)
V         The Speaker
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall
V         The Speaker
V     (Division 161)
V     (Division 163)
V     (Division 164)
V     (Division 166)
V         The Speaker
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Richard Harris
V         Mr. Pierre Brien
V         Mr. Yvon Godin
V         Mr. Jay Hill
V     (Division 162)
V         The Speaker
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Richard Harris
V         Mr. Pierre Brien
V         Mr. Yvon Godin
V         Mr. Jay Hill
V         Mr. Gary Lunn

1520
V     (Division 165)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)
V         Ms. Marlene Catterall
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Richard Harris
V         Mr. Pierre Brien
V         Mr. Yvon Godin
V         Mr. Jay Hill
V     (Division 167)
V         The Speaker
V Emergency Debate
V     Softwood Lumber
V         The Speaker
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques, BQ)
V         Mr. Pierre Paquette (Joliette, BQ)

1525
V         

1530
V         
V         Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski--Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ)

1535

1540

1545
V         Mr. Pat O'Brien (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

1550

1555
V         Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Canadian Alliance)

1600

1605

1610
V         Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

1615

1620
V         Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)

1625

1630

1635
V         Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC/DR)

1640
V         Mr. Gary Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands, PC/DR)

1645

1650
V         Mr. Joe Comuzzi (Thunder Bay--Superior North, Lib.)

1655

1700
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.)

1705

1710
V         Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast, Canadian Alliance)

1715

1720

1725

1730
V         Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre, Lib.)

1735

1740
V         Mr. Joseph Volpe (Eglinton--Lawrence, Lib.)

1745

1750
V         Mr. Antoine Dubé (Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, BQ)

1755

1800
V         Mr. Marcel Gagnon (Champlain, BQ)

1805

1810
V     Message from the Senate
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)
V     Softwood Lumber
V         Mr. Brent St. Denis (Algoma--Manitoulin, Lib.)

1815

1820
V         Mr. Steve Mahoney (Mississauga West, Lib.)

1825

1830
V         Mr. Richard Harris (Prince George--Bulkley Valley, Canadian Alliance)

1835

1840
V         Mr. Darrel Stinson (Okanagan--Shuswap, Canadian Alliance)

1845

1850
V         Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

1855

1900
V         Mr. Alex Shepherd (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Lib.)

1905

1910
V         Mr. Yvon Godin (Acadie--Bathurst, NDP)

1915

1920
V         Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP)

1925
V         Mr. Mark Assad (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)

1930

1935
V         Mr. Stephen Owen (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

1940

1945
V         Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George--Peace River, PC/DR)

1950

1955
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, PC/DR)

2000

2005
V         Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)

2010

2015
V         Mr. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

2020

2025
V         Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, Canadian Alliance)

2030

2035
V         Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Canadian Alliance)

2040
V         Mrs. Karen Redman (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

2045
V         Mr. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)

2050
V         Mr. James Lunney (Nanaimo--Alberni, Canadian Alliance)

2055

2100
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke, Canadian Alliance)

2105

2110
V         Mr. Andy Savoy (Tobique--Mactaquac, Lib.)

2115

2120
V         Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques, BQ)

2125
V         Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)

2130

2135

2140
V         Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance)

2145
V         Mr. John Cummins (Delta--South Richmond, Canadian Alliance)

2150

2155
V         Mr. Odina Desrochers (Lotbinière--L'Érable, BQ)

2200

2205
V         Mr. Jean-Yves Roy (Matapédia--Matane, BQ)

2210
V         Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney--Alouette, PC/DR)

2215

2220
V         

2225

2230
V         Mr. Reed Elley (Nanaimo--Cowichan, Canadian Alliance)

2235

2240
V         Mr. Jim Abbott (Kootenay--Columbia, Canadian Alliance)

2245

2250
V         Mr. Stéphan Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay, BQ)

2255

2300
V         Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères--Les-Patriotes, BQ)

2305

2310
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, Canadian Alliance)

2315

2320
V         The Speaker
V         (Motion agreed to)






CANADA

House of Commons Debates


VOLUME 137 
NUMBER 110 
1st SESSION 
37th PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Tuesday, November 6, 2001

Speaker: The Honourable Peter Milliken

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Prayers



+ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

*   *   *

  +(1000)  

[English]

+Order in Council Appointments

+

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a number of order in council appointments made recently by the government. I understand that pursuant to provisions of Standing Order 110(1) these are being referred to the appropriate standing committees, a list of which is attached to the document.

*   *   *

  +-(1005)  

+-Government Response to Petitions

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to two petitions.

*   *   *

+-Veterans Affairs

+-

    Hon. Ronald Duhamel (Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Canadians recently witnessed the images of Canadian servicemen and women boarding ships on both coasts, joining the coalition and the fight against terrorism. There were tearful Canadian families saying goodbye. For all Canadian men and women in uniform, no matter where they are serving on this day, let us pray for a safe return home.

    The theme of Veterans Week is in the service of peace. While simple to say, and an admirable ambition for nations, it is complex in its application.

    In the last century Canada and its allied partners fought two world wars to win back peace for a world in turmoil.

[Translation]

    During the first world war, nearly 69,000 Canadians perished on the blood drenched battlefields. There were very young soldiers, some 16, 17 or 18 years old and many in their twenties and thirties.

    Twenty years later, we were again called upon to fight because peace was threatened when European and Pacific nations came under the attack of a tyrannical enemy who dreamed of conquest.

    Once again, Canadians answered the call and the images came back.

  +-(1010)  

[English]

    Canadians answered that call and we lost another 47,000 young citizens. Just a few years later in Korea more of our young people died; 536 if my memory serves me correctly.

    Over the past half century Canada has become synonymous with peacekeeping. The United Nations has called on us to help preserve peace among nations that have been at war, usually civil war. Our veterans have stood in the line of fire and they have stood their ground.

    The number of people who they have saved is too great to estimate. They have earned the gratitude of citizens and nations, gratitude shown in the smile of a child, the tears of a mother and the extended hand of a father, grandparent or elder.

[Translation]

    Our citizens answered the call of duty not to defend our own freedom and peace, but to fight for the freedom of others, for the peace of others.

    We are extremely proud of the legacy of our veterans. For more than a century, they have shown determination, courage, and honour and they have served with distinction.

[English]

    Our citizens have answered the call to duty for the peace of others and I am proud of the legacy of our veterans. Courageous and honourable, they have served with distinction. Their legacy will not be forgotten. It continues with the brave young men and women serving today in our armed forces.

    Let us all pledge to continue remembering their service and sacrifice. I encourage all Canadians to honour these heroes in the spirit of peace and freedom during Veterans Week, on Remembrance Day and throughout the year.

    Lest we forget.

+-

    Mr. Roy Bailey (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am indeed proud to stand this day on behalf of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and pay tribute to this day and to this week. Might I add that Veterans Week is one which has the full support of my caucus.

    I suppose there is some advantage in being a little older. I am one of the few members of our caucus who lived through the events of World War II. I remember exactly where I was on September 10, 1939. I can certainly tell the House about the Sunday morning and the great events of December 7 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I lived through Dieppe, I lived through D-Day, which has been termed as the longest day in our history, June 6, 1944.

    I also lived through the time when my friend and I delivered telegrams. These telegrams often read “missing in action”. As a young person, I attended many of the funerals of those people. One of the families who lived just south of the town where I lived had their oldest son shot down after VE day by mistake. These things are very close to me.

    Perhaps on September 11 war came closer to Canada than at any time before, with the exception of course of the U-boats that often penetrated the St. Lawrence.

    This week is designed to recognize the sacrifices of our veterans and the forces that are active today and to recall the great work of the peacekeepers. Many experience the pain that follows them the rest of their lives.

    I hope one thing, because of what happened on September 11. I hope that this country never allows again the media to belittle and actually cast a shadow over the effects of what really happened in World War I and World War II. I lived through that as an educator. I fought my way through that to no avail. That I hope will never happen again.

    September 11 changed our attitude. It changed our thinking. It has caused some people to remember. We must now take up the challenge as parliamentarians, as people elected from every corner of the country, to ask our educational institutions to carry it through the curriculum, and by every educational means, to make the day and our very pride in what has been sacrificed for us become a living thing. We have to take our responsibilities seriously.

    I would be remiss if I did not ask the hon. minister this. As he knows, we have been promised four or five times since World War II that we would join the rest of the allied forces in a new war museum. The opening has been slated to coincide with VE day in 2005. However many of our veterans have grown weary with that promise and many will not live long enough.

    I ask one last thing and it has nothing to do with the area from which I come. In the maritimes we have some 300 people, some widows living alone and some merchant seamen vets, who have never done anything but give everything to their country. I recognize that a deadline was put on the applications.

  +-(1015)  

    However, during this week of remembrance I would ask the minister to please make sure that he opens the books and honours those 300 people who for no reason of their own failed to get their applications in.

    May we never again in our country break faith with those who have died.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Louis Plamondon (Bas-Richelieu--Nicolet--Bécancour, BQ): Mr. Speaker, while the hon. member who spoke before me was born before the war, I was born during the war, in 1943. I am a little younger than he is, but I fully share his point of view.

    It is an honour to join with all members of parliament here today in order to remember our fellow countrymen who were killed in action and to pay tribute to their fellow soldiers who served our two nations in difficult times.

    I also want to express all our gratitude to members of the Canadian forces currently serving overseas and to say that our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families during Veterans Week.

    We have no greater duty than to honour the sacrifice of those who served to protect our peace and our freedom. One of the best ways to perform this duty is to do it as a community, by talking to each other, by laying wreaths, by shaking a veteran's hand or by reading the inscription on a monument.

    We should also talk about it within our families, with our children; tell them about our service people and what they do to protect us; teach them how to pray for the safety of people in uniform; and say a prayer of gratitude for the veterans who protected us in the past.

    We have a duty to pay tribute to all those who gave their lives for us, and those who are protecting us this very day.

    The theme of Veterans Week is “In the Service of Peace”. In Quebec, and in Canada, we have the pleasure of living in a land of rich resources with a decent standard of living.

    As well, this is a land that has known neither war nor occupation. For several decades now, however, our military personnel have answered the call to serve the cause of peace and freedom, in two world wars, the Korean war, the gulf war, and now the war against terrorism, and for more than half a century now as well in a peacekeeping role in some of the world's hot spots.

    Most of us, however, have no knowledge of war, except for what we read in history books. Living such a sheltered life, without knowledge of war, is a blessing, one our grandparents and great-grandparents did not enjoy. Yet their experiences of war are engraved in our memories.

    Let us recall that, in the past century, more than 116,000 of our fellow citizens, including no doubt members of our own families, lost their lives in combat or died later as a result of their wounds.

    We have a duty to perpetuate the memory of our veterans throughout Quebec and Canada, those men and women who served so nobly in peace and in war. Let us make the commitment that they will never be forgotten. That is what we are doing here in the House, in a way, demonstrating that commitment.

    Our fellow citizens everywhere will be coming together for Remembrance Day ceremonies and candlelight vigils, in churches, at war memorials and in cemeteries. At cultural and sporting events, they will pause for a moment of silence in memory of our veterans.

    Veterans do not ask much of us. They ask that we never forget the sacrifice of those who will never come home, those whose youthful dreams could never be fulfilled, those who were not able to live to enjoy the peace we enjoy, the peace for which they fought so fiercely. How lucky we are.

    We will never forget the marvellous legacy they have left to us, so that we may live freely within a democracy.

  +-(1020)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today on behalf of my New Democratic colleagues across the country to pay tribute to our Canadian veterans. As fellow parliamentarians we are proud to see and hear the hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs deliver the government statement on behalf of all veterans.

    Many historians have repeatedly stated that Canada's sense of being and coming together as a nation came as a result of the heroic efforts of our fallen heroes on the battlefields in Europe in the two world wars between 1914-18 and 1939-45. We must also remember the heroic efforts of the Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who fell at battles such as Beaumont Hamel.

    In more than 60 countries around the world, over 116,000 young Canadians have died in the effort to spread freedom and democracy around the world so that other countries could live in peace and freedom as we in Canada do today.

    Mr. Speaker, I stand before you as a citizen who was born in Holland. My parents and oldest brother were liberated by Canadians. I have to say how proud I am to be able to stand in the Chamber where the decision was made to send liberators over so that my mother, father and oldest brother could be free. As this is the International Year of Volunteers I must say that no greater volunteers have ever come from Canada than those who volunteered to serve as a duty to their country in order to free other nations around the world. I pay special tribute to those honoured veterans and their families.

    I encourage all Canadians to take time this week and on November 11 to reflect on and thank our veterans and their families, to get out and visit our local cenotaphs and legions and to say a special prayer for our current military personnel and pray for their safe return from their overseas duties.

    May God bless the memory of all fallen heroes and those who are still with us:

    

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.

+-

    Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to rise in the Chamber today on behalf of my caucus to pay tribute and give thanks to our war veterans as Veterans Week begins. I will start by thanking the Minister of Veterans Affairs for his comments and indeed for the deep sentiment and strong patriotism that underlie them.

    This is not the first time I have had the privilege and honour to rise in the House to pay tribute to our most courageous citizens. Indeed, since coming here in 1993 I have done my best to speak out for our veterans and their needs. That said, this is the first time I have done so in a time of war. It is only in the aftermath of the September attack on the U.S. and our subsequent war on terrorism that we are able to remember the September attacks on Poland and the war against tyranny waged by our best and brightest two generations ago.

    When I think of the men and women in uniform who have been committed and dispatched to our current campaign I am always reminded of the day when my brothers came home to tell my mom and dad that they had signed up to fight in the second world war. They signed up in Saint John, New Brunswick to fight the Nazi threat in Europe. While thinking of them I am again brought to terms with those compelling feelings of hope, fear, pride and humility.

    We owe so very much to our veterans and I fear that through the passage of time and the relative peace and tranquility in which we were blessed to live, much of their selfless sacrifice has been forgotten. On September 11, however, we were given a vivid and vicious reminder that the defence of freedom is both difficult and never ending. We were reminded in the cruellest way possible that our country needs its heroes and, though there was never any question in our minds, Canada's armed forces have answered the call. The best of this generation have, like their parents and grandparents before them, put their lives in harm's way in the defence of all things truly Canadian.

    It is in many ways perhaps ironic that the two month anniversary of the terrorist attack in the U.S. will fall on November 11. As we gather at cenotaphs all across the country, we will remember the losses not only of the last century but those of the last few months. It might even be said that there has never been a more symbolic or significant Remembrance Day. This week as we honour those who have fallen let us remember those who stand on the front lines of freedom a world away. This week as we consider our contribution and commitment to the principles that have served us so well since Confederation, let us remember those who have always stood to protect those principles in times of peril and those who do so as we speak.

    Above all else, let us pray under the watchful eye of our protective God that we are victorious in this campaign as our great veteran heroes have been in the wars of the past. We will remember them.

  +-(1025)  

+-

    The Speaker: I would ask that all hon. members rise for a moment of silence for our veterans.

    [Editor's Note: The House stood in silence]

*   *   *

+-Committees of the House

+Procedure and House Affairs

+-

    Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 37th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, in both official languages, regarding the associate membership of some committees, and I would like to move concurrence at this time.

    (Motion agreed to)

  +-(1030)  

+-

    Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 36th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House on Friday, November 2, be concurred in. This had to do with the associate membership of the liaison committee.

    (Motion agreed to)

*   *   *

+-Petitions

+-Remembrance Day

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table petitions bearing the signatures of some 55,000 Canadians, which I believe would be the largest petition presented in this parliament or for several years. The petition includes signatures from all 10 provinces.

    The petitioners pray that parliament pass my private member's bill, Bill C-297, which seeks to formally recognize and institutionalize the practice of two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day. This is similar to and is in fact based on a motion passed at both Westminster and the Ontario provincial parliament. I would like to thank the 55,000 Canadians who have spoken on behalf of this important symbolic gesture through this petition.

*   *   *

+-Kidney Disease

+-

    Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise to present two petitions from citizens of the Peterborough area who are concerned about the huge and growing problem of kidney disease.

    The petitioners admire the work being done by the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes, which is one of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, but they believe that the institute would be even more effective if the word kidney was included in the title. They believe this would involve the public more effectively in the fine work of that institute.

    They call upon parliament to encourage the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to explicitly include kidney research as one of the institutes in its system, to be named the institute of kidney and urinary tract diseases.

*   *   *

+-Mail Couriers

+-

    Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of the rural route mail couriers of Canada.

    The petitioners call upon parliament to repeal subsection 13(5) of the Canada Post Corporation Act.

*   *   *

+-Questions on the Order Paper

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

+-

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Translation]

+-

    The Speaker: I wish to inform the House that, because of the ministerial statement, government orders will be extended by 20 minutes.


+-Government Orders

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

+-Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act

     The House resumed from November 1 consideration of Bill C-10, an act respecting the national marine conservation areas of Canada, as reported (with amendment) from the committee.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Speaker's Ruling

+-

    The Speaker: There are eight motions in amendment standing on the notice paper for the report stage of Bill C-10, an act respecting the national marine conservation areas of Canada. The Chair has some doubts regarding the desirability of selecting the motions standing in the name of the hon. member for Windsor--St. Clair, a member of the heritage committee that studied the bill. It appears that these motions could have been proposed in committee.

    However, because (a) there are already two groups for debate, (b) the motions are relatively few and (c) the member maintains that he sits on two committees, both of which were seized with bills at the same time, and therefore had difficulty in moving his amendments, the Chair will give the benefit of the doubt to the member on this occasion.

[Translation]

    Consequently, Motions Nos. 1 to 4 will be grouped for debate, but they will be voted on as follows:

    Motions Nos. 1 to 4 will be voted on separately.

  +-(1035)  

[English]

    Motions Nos. 5 to 8 will be grouped for debate and voted on as follows: Motions Nos. 5 to 8 will be voted on separately.

[Translation]

    I will now put Motions Nos. 1 to 4 to the House.

*   *   *

[English]

-Motions in Amendment

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor--St. Clair, NDP) moved:

Motion No. 1

    That Bill C-10, in Clause 4, be amended by replacing lines 10 to 15 on page 4 with the following:

    “4. (1) The purposes of this Act are:

(a) to create a system of representative marine conservation areas for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people of Canada and the world; and

(b) to protect the ecological integrity of marine conservation areas and reserves.”

Motion No. 2

    That Bill C-10, in Clause 4, be amended by replacing lines 30 to 36 on page 4 with the following:

    “(4) For the purpose of achieving ecologically sustainable use and protection of marine resources, marine conservation areas shall be divided into zones, which must include preservation zones that fully protect ecological processes, special features and all marine species that occur in these zones and may include natural environment zones that serve as buffer areas to preservation zones and conservation zones that foster and encourage ecologically sustainable use of marine resources.”

+-

    Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance) moved:

Motion No. 3

    That Bill C-10, in Clause 4, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 4 the following:

    “(5) The Minister shall undertake a mineral exploration review and assessment study prior to establishing any marine conservation area. The results of the Minister's mineral exploration review and assessment study shall be included in the interim management plan for that proposed marine conservation area.”

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor--St. Clair, NDP) moved:

Motion No. 4

    That Bill C-10, in Clause 9, be amended by replacing lines 24 to 27 on page 8 with the following:

“considerations of the Minister when considering all aspects of the management of national marine conservation areas shall be the maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity and the precautionary”

    He said: Mr. Speaker, thank you for your ruling and for the opportunity to speak to these amendments.

    As indicated, it was difficult to move these in the committee as I was involved with the clause by clause debate regarding SARA, the endangered species legislation.

    Several of these amendments are straightforward. Others, I believe, go to a fundamental flaw in the bill. The initial one is an amendment to subclause 4(1) which in effect is to create a purpose section to the proposed act. The reasoning behind that is that it does not have a specific section that deals with purpose.

    I wish to speak more specifically to the concept of introducing ecological integrity into that clause in the bill

    It is interesting that the bill is an extension or a companion legislation to the Parks Canada legislation. It has been interesting to watch the trend in the development over the last number of years as the concept of ecological integrity has been introduced into the Parks Canada legislation regulations and all the decision making that goes on around the development of our parks.

    It appears to us that it is a glaring error that it is not incorporated into the legislation which is, as I said, a companion piece of legislation so that we will have a similar theme and concept in this legislation to deal with our marine parks as they are designated and developed.

    With regard to the second amendment that is being proposed, which again is in subclause 4(4), in order to develop that ecological integrity and to be sound in terms of ecological sustainability, it is necessary for this amendment. That is what the subclause (4) amendment is designed to do. It must develop the zones and fully protect them in terms of their ecological processes.

    I believe subsection 4(4), as it is now, does not fully reflect the intention of the drafters to establish these protected zones. In order to do that we require this enabling part of the legislation to give the government the authority to protect those zones from industrial and other uses. It uses the term right now as requiring only that special features in fragile ecosystems within these protected areas are fully protected. In order to really accomplish that we need this wording.

    It was interesting to listen to some of the environmental groups that have looked at this. A number experts who appeared before the heritage committee argued and advocated on behalf of these types of changes and that they be specifically reflected in the legislation. I believe this amendment goes to that purpose.

    My next proposed amendment is with regard to clause 9 which also deals with ecological integrity. I will just briefly read the amendment:

considerations of the Minister when considering all aspects of the management of national marine conservation areas shall be the maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity and the precautionary

    It goes on to the principle, et cetera.

    As I said earlier, the concept of ecological integrity should be fundamental to the bill. This is almost a consequential type of amendment that is required in order to allow the government in power at the time to carry out that role.

  +-(1040)  

    The precautionary principle has been debated. It has been misused at times in terms of what it is meant to accomplish. This wording is the closest to the precautionary principle that was enunciated in chapter 8 of the report from the Royal Society of Canada. It is key to effectively protecting, preserving and restoring the ecological integrity of environmentally sensitive areas. That is true in general. It is true specifically with regard to marine parks which we are dealing with at this point.

    My next proposed amendment to the bill is to clause 12. With regard to this amendment and those in clause 13, they are the ones I believe are necessary for the bill to accomplish what the government should be trying to accomplish, although I am not convinced that it has gone anywhere near enough. Because of the way the sections are broken down, the amendment deals with what is prohibited and what will be permitted in marine park zones as they are established.

    Right now very general and insufficient wording is used in order to protect these zones once they are established from incursion from other types of activities that will threaten, damage or perhaps destroy parts of these zones if they are allowed to proceed.

    What the proposed amendment to clause 12 proposes is, first, that the prohibited activities of dredging or deposit of fill be added to it. There is some general wording around this elsewhere in the bill but it simply does not go far enough. We in the NDP are strongly advocating that we need that type of specific wording to protect these conservation areas.

    The second proposal is that no blasting be allowed. This is particularly important from two aspects. The technology used for exploration and development of oil and gas and mining is blasting. Explosive devices are used as part of the process of discovering whether minerals, oil and gas, et cetera are in a certain area. The consequential part of that is that it is extremely damaging to mammals, whales and porpoises in particular, because of the sonar they use to guide themselves. Any type of explosive in those areas will cause wildlife to leave the area or it will severely damage the area.

    Three amendments have been proposed to clause 13 dealing with activities again. The first one reads:

No person shall engage in fishing that involves the use of bottom trawling--

    Some very interesting research was done this summer on the effect bottom trawling and dragging has had on the coral. Extensive research was done on the amount of coral in the waters on the east coast. If we permit bottom trawling and dragging to continue, it will destroy a good deal of the ecosystem.

    The NDP is advocating in this amendment that there be no construction of oil or gas pipelines. As an add on to the blasting that I mentioned in clause 12, there will be no use of acoustic deterrent devices within a marine conservation area.

  +-(1045)  

+-

    Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I will speak briefly to the NDP amendments and then at some length to Motion No. 3 which is the Alliance amendment.

    Regarding Motion No. 1 which would amend clause 4, we in my party believe the amendment is redundant. The purpose of the bill is already clear. Rewording it would not make the environment any safer.

    The legislation as currently written is not balanced and does not deal fairly with the concerns of resource users. If anything, the bill needs to be strengthened on the side of resource users as opposed to further environmental protection, with all due respect to the environment.

    Clause 2 serves to ensure that each marine conservation area would be divided into zones which would determine their specific uses. It would ensure that at least one zone allowed and encouraged ecological sustainable use within the MCA while at least one zone fully protected the ecosystem of the conservation area.

    Although we would prefer the clause to state that each MCA would have set fishing zones and confirm that fishing be allowed in all MCAs, we can live with the clause as currently written.

    The NDP amendment would only serve to reduce the already slim protection afforded to resource users of any marine conservation area. It would effectively eliminate any reference to ensuring that at least one zone is created with the MCA to allow for ecologically sustainable resource use. It would instead create natural environment zones to be used as buffers.

    We are not against buffer zones within MCAs. Everyone knows fish do not live in walled communities. They swim freely wherever they want. Having buffer zones between no take and limited use zones might be helpful in the long run. However it is unfortunate that the NDP chose to remove assurances of at least one zone for ecologically sustainable resource use. If that is not included we cannot support the amendment.

    Regarding Motion No. 4, the third amendment in the grouping, clause 9 as currently drafted deals with the management plans of an MCA, the review of those plans by the minister, what the primary consideration should be within those plans, how the plans affect the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and how they affect land claims agreements.

    It is well explained in the bill that to protect marine ecosystems and biodiversity primary consideration when developing a management plan must be given to the principles of ecosystem management and the precautionary principle.

    The primary function of MCAs is to create a representative sampling of the marine environment within Canada. In so doing the primary consideration must be biodiversity since this is the reason the site was chosen in the first place.

    As mentioned, Motion No. 1 of the NDP is a redundant amendment since the current clause would ensure that maintaining biodiversity within an MCA is the standard. It would serve only to further strengthen environmental protection in a bill that is all about environmental protection.

    In our opinion the bill needs to be strengthened by allowing for more use of resources within MCAs rather than expanding already strong environmental protection. We will therefore not be able to support the NDP amendment.

    The Alliance Party's Motion No. 3 is a proposed amendment to clause 4 of Bill C-10. The amendment would add a subclause 4(5). As currently written the bill contains no subclause 4(5). However clause 4 deals entirely with the creation of marine conservation areas and reserves. It sets out management use directives and details specific zones within the MCA.

    Our rationale for the change is that Bill C-10 does not currently mention a departmental policy of carrying out a mineral exploration review and assessment study prior to creating an MCA. We would add the following to clause 4:

(5) The Minister shall undertake a mineral exploration review and assessment study prior to establishing any marine conservation area. The results of the Minister's mineral exploration review and assessment study shall be included in the interim management plan for that proposed marine conservation area.

    The minister should request a study and its findings should assist him in determining how best to locate a marine conservation area. This is still policy but we would like to see it enshrined in the legislation. We are told by departmental officials that this is done to ensure MCAs are not created within areas of great natural resource potential unless it cannot be helped.

    That is our concern. We must determine the potential for development of natural resources prior to establishing a marine conservation area. Once an MCA is in place whatever potential there may be is gone. We would not be able to explore or find out if anything is there. Let us do that first. Let us make it public. Let us put it on the table.

  +-(1050)  

    As was pointed out in the committee to departmental officials and the government's parliamentary secretary, policy direction from a department is ever changing. No one from the natural resources sector would take solace in knowing that current policy is to do a MERA study prior to creating an MCA.

    Putting in law a requirement that the minister complete a MERA study and include the findings of the study in the interim management plan for an MCA would provide assurance that the results of the MERA would be made public and not hidden away in the department forever. That is the crux of our amendment.

    Furthermore, once Bill C-10 is passed by the government, parliament would never see another piece of legislation dealing with the creation of an MCA. The bill would prevent that from happening. The only input parliamentarians and senators would have in the process of creating MCAs or amending their size and scope would be through the minister tabling an interim management plan in the House of Commons and in the other house which is not mentioned here.

    Ensuring the MERA study is included in the interim management plan would give elected members of parliament what is hoped would be a fuller picture of the consequences on both sides of the issue of creating an MCA.

    We are looking for balance. We support the concept of MCAs. However we must also remember the socioeconomic impacts on small communities in the province of British Columbia, for example, should MCAs limit or in some way prohibit fishing, aquaculture potential or the development of offshore oil and gas.

    When given all the facts elected parliamentarians representing the concerns of their ridings make sound grounded decisions. Including this small amendment in a new subclause of clause 4 would in time serve to cement the current policy process of the department of heritage. It would ensure full disclosure for parliamentarians of whether the creation of MCAs may or may not be in the best interests of the coastal areas they would likely affect.

    I ask the government to consider the amendment seriously. I hope it will support it.

+-

    Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is important for members of the House to understand what Bill C-10 is about. Bill C-10 would provide the framework for creating a network of national marine conservation areas that would link Canadians to their marine heritage and to each other. As models of ecologically sustainable use, marine conservation areas would show us the way to our future.

    It is important to note that marine conservation areas are not parks on the water. As the member for Windsor--St. Clair mentioned, the purpose of national parks is to maintain ecological integrity. The principle of Bill C-10 is not ecological integrity. It is the balancing of protection with sustainable use.

    I will talk about the issues that were looked at by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. The committee worked hard during its review of Bill C-10. I take this opportunity to thank members of the committee for their efforts.

    The committee took a thoughtful approach to the proposed legislation. It provided a forum for a wide range of interests to come forward and comment on the bill. There was a lot of useful input from both the committee and the witnesses who appeared before it.

    A number of issues were raised before the standing committee. I will turn to some of these issues which should address the amendments proposed by the hon. member for Windsor--St. Clair and the hon. critic from the Alliance.

    Concerns have been expressed both in the House and in committee that provincial jurisdiction would in some way be infringed by Bill C-10. That it is absolutely not the case.

    If a province owns all or part of the seabed in an area where Parks Canada proposes to establish a marine conservation area, a federal-provincial agreement would be required to transfer ownership to the federal government. Without such an agreement the proposed marine conservation area could not proceed. For greater certainty this requirement is specified in the bill.

    In marine areas where jurisdiction over the seabed is disputed the federal government does not intend to act unilaterally. Let me make that perfectly clear. There would always be consultations with the province with a view to finding a mutually satisfactory resolution.

    Members of parliament and witnesses have expressed concern that the national marine conservation areas program is a duplication of existing marine protected area programs and is therefore not needed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Parks Canada's national marine conservation areas are part of a larger commitment by the government to establish a network of protected areas in Canada's oceans. Just as a variety of tools allow for a diverse protected areas network on land such as national parks, provincial parks, national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries, a similar set of tools is necessary to satisfy the wide range of needs and purposes in our complex marine environment.

    While the Oceans Act provides the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans a leadership role in co-ordinating the development and implementation of a national system of marine protected areas, responsibility for establishing the system is shared among three federal agencies with mandated responsibilities to establish and create marine protected areas. The agencies are Parks Canada, Environment Canada, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

    The result is a family of complementary marine protected area programs that contribute to a broader comprehensive system of marine protected areas and conserve and protect Canada's natural and cultural marine resources.

    Within this family the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans establishes marine protected areas to protect and conserve critical fish and marine mammal habitats, endangered marine species, unique features and areas of high biological productivity or biodiversity.

    The Minister of the Environment establishes national and marine wildlife areas to protect critical seabird habitats. The Minister of Canadian Heritage in turn oversees Parks Canada's program which serves a much broader objective. It is the only one of the three programs that recognizes the role Canada's oceans and great lakes have played in defining the country's economy, culture and identity.

  +-(1055)  

    Parks Canada will place a special emphasis on educating Canadians about their marine heritage and communicating its significance in all regions. This is a heritage conservation program ideally suited to the mandate of the Canadian heritage portfolio. Members will appreciate that each program has its own distinctive objectives and is an integral part of an overall co-ordinated federal approach to ocean management.

    Several witnesses indicated that to better protect the marine environment there is a need to add more blanket prohibitions to the legislation and to manage for ecological integrity. The amendments proposed by the member for Windsor--St. Clair propose to do so.

    The government's position is that more prohibitions included in this legislation would make it more difficult to gain support from local users. It would also make it less likely to adequately represent all Canadian marine regions within a system of national marine conservation areas.

    Zoning is a particularly powerful and flexible tool for managing use. It ensures the protection of special features and sensitive ecosystems. It addresses the concerns of those who want to see additional prohibitions in the legislation.

    Managing for ecological integrity is an approach which strives to protect ecosystems in a state essentially unaltered by human use. Ecological integrity is a first priority in managing national parks, but national marine conservation areas are not parks on water. They are meant to be models of ecologically sustainable use. The prime considerations in their management are the principles of ecosystem management and the precautionary principles.

    Numerous concerns were expressed about the need for full and open public consultations at the local level when marine conservation areas are established. Bill C-10 includes a clear requirement for public consultation in the establishment of any national marine conservation area, with particular emphasis given to affected coastal communities.

    The nature of these consultations is set out in Parks Canada policies. The national marine conservation area feasibility studies already launched by Parks Canada in areas such as Lake Superior illustrate this policy already in action. If there is no local support for the creation of a national marine conservation area in a given location then the proposal does not go forward to parliament.

    Should an area be established, the proposed legislation would require the creation of a management advisory board to ensure that consultation with local stakeholders would continue on an ongoing basis for all aspects of the management planning.

    We are engaged in a great undertaking with the establishment of a Canadian system of national marine conservation areas. Canada is well positioned to make a meaningful contribution to a global effort to establish representative systems of marine protected areas. Parks Canada is a key participant in its effort.

    Members will recall that Bill C-10 is framework legislation. It provides the tools needed to create national marine conservation areas and to manage each one in a way that is appropriate to its unique characteristics.

    National marine conservation areas are an important part of Canada's family of special places. They will be managed in a way that balances conservation and sustainable use and will be a model for conservation of the marine environment.

  +-(1100)  

[Translation]

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    Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-10. This is not a new bill; it follows two bills that were introduced in the House before that last election campaign, Bills C-8 and C-48.

    At report stage, we can present amendments. The Bloc Quebecois has supported many proposals made by the government. The Bloc is not opposed to the protection of the environment, but rather to the way the federal government is acting in this matter.

    We were against Bills C-8 and C-48 that were before the House before the election campaign, because they infringed provincial jurisdiction. The Bloc Quebecois proposed an amendment that it would have liked the government to accept. This amendment dealt with the protection of territories. The territory is either federal or provincial; as we know, the sea floor belongs to the provinces, according to the Constitution of 1867. The Bloc Quebecois opposes the principle of the transfer of these rights to the federal government.

    Clause 10.1 was an irritant. While we were in favour of requiring negotiations with the provinces, it sets out consultations. This bill is weak when it comes to following through on the government's wishes, and history has taught us to be cautious. Members need only think of the millennium scholarships, and the whole issue of young offenders. The Bloc Quebecois will ensure that all of the necessary safeguards are in place to protect provincial jurisdictions and areas of responsibility.

    The amendments moved by the New Democratic Party and the Canadian Alliance could be examined individually; they support the zones established to protect ecosystems. This is not the cause of our concern. My colleagues know this; I have already informed them.

    There is the whole issue of overlap between different departments. There are three conservation zones: marine conservation areas, which come under canadian heritage; marine protection areas, the responsibility of fisheries and oceans, and marine reserves, which come under the Department of the Environment.

    There will therefore be three different structures to complicate the situation. In the case of negotiations with local authorities or the provinces, there will obviously be a certain amount of confusion. The Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans was quite ineffectual in protecting marine areas, marine protection zones or marine reserves. There are several zones and there are three departments to manage the task.

    Not only is there overlap within the federal level—and it is easy to see how this will create confusion—but there is also overlap in some provinces between Environment Canada and its provincial counterpart, such as in Quebec.

    In Quebec, we have our own way of doing things. We proposed a number of amendments. We know that it is Quebec that established a memorandum of understanding with the federal government, which takes into consideration a master plan. This plan includes safeguards to protect the environment and ecosystems. Everything is in place.

    This bill was not based on this approach, or if it was, it follows the federal government's centralist vision, the same way the government always does things.

  +-(1105)  

    Quebec had an innovative idea that made provision for jurisdictions. With this bill, the federal government is totally upsetting the approach of the Quebec government. It had proposed the master plan, and a law was enacted to protect a specific marine area, namely the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park.

    My colleague, the member for Jonquière, who has often raised this matter in the House of Commons, is very familiar with the matter and knows what is involved in the law and the memorandum between the Government of Quebec and the federal government. A marine area was established in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region where I come from.

    This agreement provides very clearly that the area will not be transferred. It must not be assumed that Quebec will transfer the marine area, which is public land. The constitution provides that the provinces own crown land. This is therefore annoying. It would have been possible, with an agreement, to not go ahead with the land transfer. We would have liked this bill to incorporate the amendments proposed by the Bloc.

    As people know, I am not the first to speak to this matter. My colleague from Portneuf is also a vigorous defender of Quebec's jurisdiction and of shared jurisdictions. He too spoke out against Bill C-8, Bill C-48, and now Bill C-10, saying we would not support it.

    There are therefore a number of irritants. We also do not agree with extending the scope of the obligations of Canadian heritage. We know the Minister of Canadian Heritage goes in for propaganda a lot. Indeed, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage was saying earlier that they would provide some education on the protection of marine areas. Education is a provincial matter.

    Spending is another very subtle way of meddling in the jurisdictions of the provinces. I say spending, because when the government establishes a program, puts an infrastructure in place, we all know there are other officials working on it and setting up programs. The minister could simply say that she would prepare a fine kit for schools on the federal marine areas.

    So there is overlapping. There is no agreement to extend the scope of Heritage Canada's obligations. There is also the complexity and inconsistency of the three departments. There is the centralizing goal. We have examples such as the Young Offenders Act, which is contrary to Quebec's legislation. I will come back to this later, since I will have the opportunity to rise several times today.

    Thus, the Bloc Quebecois wanted an amendment that went much further to ensure that each marine area, for example, would be debated and negotiated separately. I know that we are not the only ones in the field who oppose the bill such as it is. I do not know how the other parties will vote, but there are several irritants.

    We also know that marine areas often disrupt some ways of doing things in other Canadian regions. In the west, we are told that the local economy must be respected. Local economies must also be allowed to develop. Will this be inconsistent with marine areas? There are amendments that tell us we should really first investigate to determine whether a marine area can be established at a certain place. We are not against these amendments. We believe that some of them make sense. But there is more. We can imagine what the major irritant is and the whole underlying principle of this bill, that is that the government seeks to intrude into provincial jurisdictions.

  +-(1110)  

[English]

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    Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney--Alouette, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to Bill C-10. We worked on it extensively in committee. Members of the coalition have concerns about the bill but are generally supportive of the concept of putting in place marine conservation areas.

    I begin by speaking to Motion Nos. 1 to 4 which we are debating at report stage. My friend from Windsor--St. Clair brought forth some good ideas in terms of protecting marine conservation areas even further than laid out in the bill.

    Clause 4 of the bill already balances the environmental concerns along with economic sustainability of the areas. I am not sure that we would be able to support his amendment although we appreciate his intent to further protect these areas.

    I also want to talk about Motion No. 3 of another friend in committee, the member for Skeena. I commend him for his hard work. He brought forward a number of amendments in committee and as a result the committee heard more witnesses who had real concerns about the bill, particularly from British Columbia. He did a good job and should be commended for that.

    We did not get all the amendments we wanted in committee. However, as the Alliance, coalition or other parties, we did move the government in some respects on the bill which improved it. It is not a perfect bill but it does set up some marine conservation areas of which we are supportive.

    Motion No. 3 proposed by the member for Skeena would amend Bill C-10 by adding after line 36 on page 4 the following:

    

(5) The Minister shall undertake a mineral exploration review and assessment study prior to establishing any marine conservation area. The results of the Minister's mineral exploration review and assessment study shall be included in the interim management plan for that proposed marine conservation area.

    That is a very positive motion and we support it. It helps all parties to know that the government would not impose a marine conservation area in a particular place where there might be a high potential for oil and gas exploration. This is particularly important in our province of British Columbia where the current Liberal government is exploring the possibility of lifting a moratorium with regard to offshore exploration of oil and gas.

    One of the main concerns that members shared in committee, particularly my friend from Skeena and I, was that the government might establish a marine conservation area in a unilateral fashion that may cut out coastal communities where these areas may be established for other purposes.

    The government assured us that was not the intent of the legislation and it moved to amend some other clauses. Those amendments did not go far enough, but at the same time we put a level of trust in the government. It said that it was putting forward a process for establishing marine conservation areas that would include consultation with coastal communities. There would not be a backdoor implementation of a marine conservation area in a place where there might be a potential for oil and gas exploration.

    The motion brought forward by the member for Skeena is one that would have the MERA report examine the feasibility of oil and gas in a particular area. It is the scientific study that would determine whether this could be done in a particular area. It would be included in the interim management plan and be tabled in the House so that all members could see it. It would not simply go to the minister for her to review and make the decision behind closed doors. It would be brought forward so that members of the heritage committee could examine it followed by an examination in the House, and then we could decide on whether to move ahead.

  +-(1115)  

    It builds another accountability mechanism into the bill which reflects the need for consultation with local communities. It would also alleviate the concerns and fears of communities that the government might act in a unilateral fashion by imposing a marine conservation area on a community. The fear is that it might try to put a marine conservation area in place where there are oil and gas exploration possibilities before a review is conducted.

    It is a positive move that we should support. It would benefit the government by supporting the clause because it would go further in giving all of us in this place and all interested parties in this debate a message that the government would not impose a marine conservation area anywhere in the country where there may be other economic resource questions to be determined by local and provincial governments without first consulting extensively with coastal communities and affected groups. That would be a good thing and we are supportive of that.

    I have talked a little longer than I wanted to on the motions. I will talk a bit about the bill a little later if I do not say everything now. Our concerns with the bill centre around the consultation process.

    A big part of the concern has to do with clauses 5, 7 and 10 which were discussed in committee. The intent of clause 5 is that a marine conservation area would not be established without consulting widely with involved communities. That is a good thing. There are some who have concerns that the government may establish a marine conservation area and then through order in council at a later date expand that territory to create either an MCA or an enlargement of the particular area.

    The intent of clause 7 is that even if a marine conservation area has been established, it must go through the same process of consultation, examination by committee and be brought forward to the House for debate and a vote before it can be enlarged. We are hoping that is the intent of the clause. That seems to be the letter of the law, but as we know it is the spirit of the law that will have impact on what happens with the bill.

    It is our hope that the government will stick to the intent and spirit of the bill, which is to hold wide consultation with concerned groups, particularly coastal communities where marine conservation areas would be established prior to the establishment of these areas. Once they are established there should be no backdoor process of enlarging or expanding a marine conservation area without this consultative process. It seems clear in the bill that is the way it should be, but too often we have seen in this place that what should be is not necessarily what happens.

    It is my hope that the government moves ahead on Motion No. 3 presented by my friend from Skeena because it is a positive motion which we will be supporting. It gives ear to further debate in this place and implements the bill in a positive consultative process.

  +-(1120)  

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    Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Bras d'Or--Cape Breton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Canadians and their government have built a world renowned system of national parks for over 100 years. This parliament has the opportunity to set the stage for building a system of national marine conservation areas. Future generations of Canadians will be able to enjoy and appreciate the diversity of our magnificent marine environments as they now enjoy the outstanding natural areas in our parks.

    The long term goal is to represent each of Canada's 29 marine regions in a national system of marine conservation areas, much as we would establish a national park in each of the 39 terrestrial natural regions of Canada. Each national marine conservation area like each national park should be an outstanding sample of the region it represents.

    There is an assumption that national marine conservation areas will simply be national parks on water. This is not so. Maintenance of ecological integrity is the first priority when considering park zoning and visitor use in national parks. National parks are managed to remain essentially unaltered by human activity.

    National marine conservation areas are designed to be models of sustainable use and the approach to management is one which balances protection and use. As a result we need legislation tailored to national marine conservation areas.

    I will give a quick overview of the legislation indicating how it is designed to manage protected areas in the complex world that is our marine environment.

    The bill establishes the legal and regulatory framework for creating and managing national marine conservation areas. It does not by itself create any specific areas. It provides a mechanism for formally establishing national marine conservation areas under the act.

    Bill C-10 sets out an order in council process for the establishment in law of national marine conservation areas that is similar to the recently proclaimed Canada National Parks Act. The order in council process would speed up the scheduling of new areas. I assure the House that the supremacy of parliament remains.

    The bill would require proposals to establish each new national marine conservation area to be tabled in both houses and referred to the appropriate standing committee for consideration. The order in council would not proceed should either house reject the establishment of the new area.

    Bill C-10 requires federal ownership of all lands to be included in a national marine conservation area both above and below the water as is the case for our national parks. This ensures that the Minister of Canadian Heritage would have administration and control of these areas.

    If a province owns all or part of the seabed in an area where Parks Canada proposes to establish a national marine conservation area, the province would have to agree to use those lands for an MCA. In marine areas where there is contested federal-provincial jurisdiction there would always be consultations with the province concerned. The federal government has no intention of acting unilaterally.

    There is a clear requirement for public consultation with the establishment of any national marine conservation area with particular emphasis given to affected coastal communities. I emphasize that if there is no public support for the creation of a national marine conservation area in any given location, the proposal would not be brought forward to parliament. Parks Canada would look to another area with which to represent the marine region.

    When the government decides to take the final step and formally establish a national marine conservation area parliament would have an opportunity to examine the proposal in detail and satisfy itself that there is broad community support.

    Bill C-10 calls for active stakeholder participation in the formulation, review and implementation of management plans. The legislation provides for accountability to parliament through the tabling of management plans for each marine conservation area.

  +-(1125)  

    Coastal communities need certainty before an area is established. Therefore when a new proposal comes to parliament along with a report on consultations held and any agreements reached with provinces and other departments, there will also be an interim management plan. Management advisory committees will be created for each marine conservation area to ensure that consultation with local stakeholders is on an ongoing basis.

    I would now like to address how Bill C-10 reflects the government's commitment to working with aboriginal peoples. The legislation includes provisions to establish reserves for national marine conservation areas. These are established when an area, or a portion of an area, is subject to a land claim by aboriginal people that has been accepted for negotiation by the Government of Canada. Reserves are managed as if they were national marine conservation areas but without prejudice to the settlement of the claim.

    A non-derogation clause has been added regarding aboriginal and treaty rights. There is also a specific requirement in the legislation to consult with aboriginal governments and organizations and bodies established under land claim agreements.

    Finally, the legislation explicitly recognizes traditional aboriginal ecological knowledge in carrying out research and monitoring studies in national marine conservation areas.

    Certain activities are prohibited throughout all national marine conservation areas. The most important of these prohibitions concerns non-renewable resources, specifically minerals and oil and gas. Marine conservation areas are managed for sustainable use and by definition, extraction of non-renewable resources is not sustainable.

    Other activities would be regulated through zoning. In each national marine conservation area there would be multiple use zones where ecologically sustainable uses are encouraged, including fishing. There will also be zones where protection is afforded to special features and sensitive elements of ecosystems. These would be protection zones where resource use is not permitted. These zones would be identified in full consultation with local stakeholders.

    I would like to reiterate that Bill C-10 is framework legislation. It provides the tools needed to create national marine conservation areas and to manage each one in a way that is appropriate to its unique characteristics. I believe we have struck an appropriate balance between protection and sustainable use. Very few activities are completely prohibited but tools are available to regulate activities to ensure that the structure and function of each area's ecosystems are not compromised.

    We have an obligation to consult affected communities during feasibility studies in the planning process and in preparing the applicable regulations. Each area will be unique. It will be unique in its characteristics and uniquely managed. A national marine conservation area in Georgian Bay will be distinct from one in the Beaufort Sea or one in the Strait of Georgia or one in the Bay of Fundy.

    Canada needs this legislation so that outstanding examples of our country's natural and cultural marine heritage can be provided with long term protection and so that Canadians can learn more about and experience this shared heritage.

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    Mr. Jim Abbott (Kootenay--Columbia, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, in speaking to the NDP motions it may be of value to look at the wording that party is proposing. The member for Windsor--St. Clair has proposed the following amendment:

4.(1) The purposes of this Act are:

(a) to create a system of representative marine conservation areas for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people of Canada and the world; and

(b) to protect the ecological integrity of marine conservation areas and reserves.

    His second motion is:

That Bill C-10, in Clause 4, be amended by replacing lines 30 to 36 on page 4 with the following:

(4) For the purpose of achieving ecologically sustainable use and protection of marine resources, marine conservation areas shall be divided into zones, which must include preservation zones that fully protect ecological processes, special features and all marine species that occur in these zones and may include natural environment zones that serve as buffer areas to preservation zones and conservation zones that foster and encourage ecologically sustainable use of marine resources.

    What we have here, I suggest with the greatest respect to my NDP friends, is ideology versus practicality. Looking at the full intent of the law as it has been drafted by the government, all of the things the NDP has moved are more than covered. In fact, the NDP amendments create a redundancy in verbiage.

    My friend from the Liberals who preceded me said that extraction of non-renewable resources is not sustainable. In the strictest meaning of the words, extraction of non-renewable resources, if those resources are being extracted, if they are not renewable, then clearly as my friend has said, it is not sustainable. At some point we are going to reach the end of those resources.

    We also recognize that with the exception perhaps of wind power or hydro power generation, virtually everything we do as human beings is to consume some of the resources which were given to us by God himself. These are resources that we use hopefully in wiser and wiser ways. Certainly we are trying in every respect to ensure that we leave the world a better place, but to suggest that we could get along without the actual consumption of resources, with great respect to my friend, simply is not practical at all.

    Referring specifically to the NDP motion, Bill C-10 is a framework. To try and confine even further within that framework any environmental or ecological imperatives is constraining the ability of human beings to have access to the resources that are at their fingertips.

    One of the difficulties we as a party have had is that this is yet another layer. When individuals and those involved in natural resource extraction are exploring and looking for ways to continue to serve all of mankind with these resources, they find they are into layer upon layer. In Bill C-10 we not only have a new federal statute layered on top of other departments, but additionally, we have federal statutes layered on top of provincial statutes and provincial rules and regulations.

    There is a difficulty at the moment for the province of British Columbia. The provincial NDP, the soulmates of the federal NDP, have gone through a process over the last 10 years of fundamentally, let us presume in good faith, lowering the ability of people to get to and to develop resources.

  +-(1130)  

    I will go off on a different angle for a second. In the province of British Columbia when the NDP government came to power there was a lot of responsible mineral exploration. We recognize that a lot of mines are being depleted or are running down due to world prices or whatever the case may be. The only way those projects the mining industry can continue in the province or in any area, is through further exploration.

    As a result of the kind of motion our NDP friends have brought to the House, which reflects the kind of thought process the provincial NDP had, investment in mining exploration fundamentally has gone to zero. That is an absolute shame. It is a shame because in my constituency at the Sullivan mine, owned and run successfully by Cominco and its successors since the turn of the century, more lead zinc has been extracted from that one mine project than from any other lead zinc mine in the history of Canada. However it is now depleted.

    The problem is we have not had exploration. If we do not have exploration, we end up with the problem that we will not have a mining industry tomorrow. What are the skilled miners in my constituency supposed to do? Within a very small community of only 500 people, as of December there will be 15 families looking at no more work. They will have to go to some other jurisdiction, probably outside Canada, in order to find employment. They are highly skilled people who are 45 to 55 years of age. Where will they go?

    We see this kind of ideology. I say with the greatest respect to my NDP friends that they have a particular vision but I suggest it is a myopic vision. It is a myopic vision in that if we have the ideology of environmental protection at all costs to all exclusion, we end up with an employment problem, a resource problem, as well as a wealth generation problem.

    For example, I note that today in the province of Ontario there will be an economic statement, if it has not come forward already. The premier told the people of this great province that the resources required even to do things like health care were going to be cut back.

    My Liberal friends may have a difference of opinion over whether or not the premier should have done that. However, we come down to the same fact that if there is a slowdown in the economy, if there is a slowdown in the production of wealth, then there is no tax base from which to fund health care and other programs that are so essential to us here in Canada.

    Clearly therefore, we will be voting against these motions. As I have suggested, the clauses are redundant. As a matter of principle, the further intrusion of more government rules and regulations to shut down the ability of people to responsibly be involved in resource development and resource extraction, is simply not going in the direction we need to go as a nation.

  +-(1135)  

[Translation]

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    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (Jonquière, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to address Bill C-10 this morning.

    I would have thought that the Liberal government, which sponsored Bill C-48 when I was the Bloc Quebecois critic on the environment, a bill similar to the legislation now before us, would have listened to opposition parties and heard what we said during the previous parliament.

    Bill C-10 will result in duplication, and the federal government will take over jurisdictions that do not belong to it under the Constitution Act of 1867. This is a mixed bag of things other than what is targeted. The federal government is interfering through the involvement of the Minister of Canadian Heritage in areas that come under fisheries and oceans, and it creates new structures that are not needed.

    In 1988, the governments of Quebec and Canada passed mirror legislation. I have a copy of the agreement creating the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park. That legislation was developed by the community.

    At some point, people decided to do something about their environment. They got together and contacted the two levels of government. They told them “We want to work together to do something for our region”. In my opinion, the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and the St. Lawrence are the most beautiful regions of the country—

    An hon. member: After Lévis.

    Ms. Girard-Bujold: Oh yes, after Lévis. I am not so sure, but anyway.

    So, these people took charge and called the attention of the two levels of government to their priorities. Together, they came to an agreement.

    As we know the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park covers a very large area of several square kilometres. These people set up a co-ordination committee. They said “Since these jurisdictions could be shared between the two levels of government, we will call to task each government regarding their respective responsibilities”.

    On April 1, 1990, after all these negotiations, the governments of Canada and Quebec signed the agreement establishing the 29th marine park.

    Bill C-10 is about creating 28 marine conservation areas. But both groups of amendments before us tell the provinces “We are going to make the decisions. We are going to set a framework in place”. We are fed up with frameworks. I think we have quite enough of them in Canada.

    I do not think any government member has read this agreement, or maybe a few did. I would have liked them to read it and then say “We are going to start from this, and, wherever we want to create a marine conservation area in Canada, we will use identical legislation and we will build on this instead of reinventing the wheel”.

    With this bill, we are reinventing the wheel. I think there are more important issues we should be debating. On November 6, 2001, instead of discussing existing legal entities, we should start from there, and respect provincial jurisdictions.

    That framework legislation was respectful of entities recognized in the Canadian constitution. It recognized the fact that the sea floor is under provincial jurisdiction. In that context, the Canadian government and the Quebec government could take action in their respective jurisdictions without interfering with one another.

  +-(1140)  

    Quebec contributed $11 million plus another $5 million, while Canada put up $9 million. In Saguenay—Lac-St-Jean, phase two has begun. It is working and we are moving forward.

    I would like to congratulate my colleague from Quebec for her speech. I applaud her. She pursues this issue with a lot of determination. We cannot allow this government to interfere again in provincial jurisdictions, whether in Quebec, Ontario, the maritimes, the western provinces or British Columbia. Enough is enough. I think that it is time we talked about consultation. With this bill, the Canadian government is not talking about consultation.

    They want a new structure. We would need money for all that. The profile of a marine park is very important. It defines the beauty of the area within the park. We should also take into account the priorities of the local population. This is not what this bill is doing; it is creating a top down structure.

    The government does not know which bill to present. It does not have a legislative agenda. It brings old things back instead of taking what is on the table and starting from there.

    Through our critic, the member for Québec, the Bloc Quebecois will once again be saying that we do not agree. We said that we did not agree with Bill C-48. And we will be saying that we do not agree with Bill C-10.

    The Liberal member said that feasibility studies were going to be done. These have been done. We have a basic document. Why not build from there?

    Submerged lands belong to the provinces. The framework agreement for the 25th marine park recognized this. Why must we keep fighting to have this government respect the constitution? They said submerged lands belonged to the provinces, they put it in writing and they signed. Why, this morning, must we debate a done deal?

    The government thinks that the opposition parties do not realize we have already been down this path. Perhaps the Liberals have nothing to say so they are keeping us awake? All they want to do is interfere in provincial jurisdiction. What is going on here in the House right now is serious. Bill C-10 should never have seen the light of day. It should have stayed where it was.

    During the 36th parliament, when this bill died on the order paper, I thought that the government would do some thinking, that officials would read the agreement already signed, that they would have done their homework. I see that the government is a real tower of Babel. No one knows what they are supposed to do. Everyone wants to grab a little bit of power which is not theirs by law.

    Enough. I think that this bill should die on the order paper. The Bloc Quebecois will not give its approval to a bill which, once again, creates overlapping jurisdictions. This bill will allow the Minister of Canadian Heritage to create another structure and interfere in the work of other departments. The Department of the Environment and fisheries and oceans will be involved. Several departments are parties to these marine park agreements. The minister is giving herself the power to tell them what to do.

    Imagine the confusion this bill will create within the Canadian government. We must see that public money goes elsewhere than into bills that are obsolete and unnecessary.

    As the hon. member for Québec said, the Bloc Quebecois will be voting against this bill. And I hope that the majority of members in the House will do the same.

  +-(1145)  

[English]

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    Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me speak on some of the benefits that would come to Canadians, from all the different parts of the country, with the establishment of a national marine conservation areas act.

    It would provide increased protection for outstanding examples of Canada's Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans, as well as the Great Lakes. It would provide an opportunity to increase public awareness and understanding of Canada's rich natural and cultural marine heritage. It would provide an opportunity to promote and publicize Canada as a worldclass ecotourism destination. It would provide an opportunity to diversify the economies of remote coastal communities. It would provide better planning with respect to ecologically sustained use of marine resources. As well, it would provide a focus and support for long term scientific research and monitoring related to the marine environment.

  +-(1150)  

[Translation]

    My colleague from the Bloc Quebecois raised the issue of provincial jurisdiction by saying that problems will arise concerning the management of these issues.

    I would say, particularly to the hon. member, that this legislation does not affect in any way the existing relationship between the provinces and the federal government. For example, if a province owns all or part of the submerged lands in a sector where Parks Canada proposes to create a marine conservation area, a federal-provincial agreement will have to be concluded in order to transfer the ownership of the submerged lands to the federal government. Without such an agreement, the marine area cannot be created.

    This is how the issue will be managed.

[English]

    In marine areas where there was a contested federal as well as provincial jurisdiction, there would always be consultation with the province concerned with a view to finding a mutually satisfactory resolution. The federal government does not intend in any way, shape or form to act unilaterally.

[Translation]

    Moreover, that way, we can always solve the difficulties which could arise, one way or another.

    Another issue was raised, this one about the native peoples. As regards existing aboriginal or treaty rights, several stakeholders recommended that a non-derogation provision be included in the bill. These rights being constitutionally protected, the government has the obligation to respect them, regardless of any law. Nonetheless, for greater certainty, such a provision has been included in this bill.

[English]

    When the committee heard from witnesses, concerns were expressed that the bill limited the circumstances under which reserves could be created. As a result, the bill was amended to broaden its scope making it clear that reserves could be established in the maritimes, or British Columbia for example, where there are settlement processes for claims to aboriginal rights other than the comprehensive land claim process.

    The witnesses also expressed concern with the fact that the bill requires an act of parliament to remove lands from a national marine conservation area yet there could be situations, such as court decisions pertaining to the title, that should be resolved in a more expedient manner.

    As a result, the bill was amended to allow the governor in council to remove land from a marine conservation area by order in council if a court, for example, found that aboriginal titles existed and the title holder did not want the land to remain as part of the marine conservation area. Here again we have seen that the committee has responded to the wishes of witnesses in that particular area of concern.

    There is another notion, which is the establishment of a marine conservation area. It has always been the government's intention that those national parks and national marine conservation areas would be established in the same manner. As such, Bill C-10 was amended to reflect changes made in the recently proclaimed National Parks Act and all changes affecting the establishment procedures adopted in this bill will also be reflected in that act.

    With regard to management planning, the bill states that the management plan would be prepared within five years of the area being established. While the bill was in committee, it was suggested that five years was too long to wait. Coastal communities need greater certainty before an area is established. The bill was amended so that when a new proposal comes before parliament, along with the report on the objectives and management of the area, the report will also include an interim management plan. In addition, the report will outline the consultation held on any agreement reached with provinces and other departments.

    A management advisory committee will be created for each marine conservation area to ensure that consultation with local stakeholders continues on an ongoing basis.

    The management plans for each area must be reviewed at least every five years. Thus the government will take a learn by doing approach for every area.

  +-(1155)  

[Translation]

    In each marine conservation area, ongoing consultations will make it possible for Parks Canada staff to take advantage of the knowledge of local residents and the traditional ecological know-how of the coastal and aboriginal communities.

[English]

    The question of zoning was also raised. I want to emphasize to my colleagues the importance of zoning as a powerful and flexible tool for managing use within a marine area. In each marine conservation area there would be multiple use zones where ecologically sustainable uses are encouraged, including fishing. There will also be zones where special protection is afforded to, for example, critical spawning grounds, cultural sites, whale calving areas and scientific research sites. These would be protected zones where resource use would not be permitted.

    The bill was amended to clarify that all marine conservation areas would contain at least two types of zones. At the same time, enough flexibility is left in the bill to ensure that each area can have a zoning plan that is appropriate to its individual situation.

[Translation]

    I can assure hon. members that the regulatory authorities already in place in this bill, particularly those relating to zoning, can be used to manage activities such as bottom trawling, on a case by case basis, in locations where the seabed is vulnerable.

[English]

    Parks Canada will identify the location of protection zones and surrounding multiple use zones for each proposed national marine conservation area during the feasibility study for that area in full consultation with those directly affected.

    Finally, on the consultation question, it should be noted that the consultation provision of the bill has been strengthened considerably. The proposed legislation now requires the minister to consult with stakeholders, which includes relevant provincial and federal agencies and ministries, affected coastal communities, aboriginal governments and organizations, bodies established under land claim agreements, and other persons and bodies as appropriate.

    The list of matters on which ministers are required to consult has also been expanded to include the development of regulations as well as consultation on the establishment of any proposed national marine conservation.

    In the course of the committee hearings, the committee spoke to witnesses who approached the bill from a very different perspective. Some clearly stated that the bill was too restrictive and unnecessarily focused on environmental protections. At the same time, others saw the bill as too weak and asked the committee to consider further blanket restrictions and prohibitions.

[Translation]

    The committee was sensitive to the concerns of all parties. The amendments that have been made show the serious approach the government has taken to those concerns and how it has made an effort to make the required changes when possible and appropriate.

  +-(1200)  

[English]

    On the whole, I believe the government has taken a balanced approach to the bill. It is my hope that the House of Commons approves it.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Clifford Lincoln (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the history of our country is, in many regards, linked to exploration and development of marine resources on the Canadian coasts. Actually, our marine heritage is a reflection of our quality of life but it also reflects a good part of our literature, our songs and our art.

[English]

    Parks Canada's national marine conservation areas program has several goals: to protect our marine environment, to conserve our marine heritage, to bring knowledge and pride to Canadians about this heritage, and to work with local communities to ensure that this very important legacy is passed on to future generations.

    My comments today refer to Bill C-10, an act respecting the national marine conservation areas of Canada. Bill C-10 provides a framework for creating a network of national marine conservation areas, a network that will link Canadians to their marine heritage and to one another. There will be models of ecologically sustainable use. As such, marine conservation areas will also show us the way to our future.

    I will also take time to speak to some of the main issues raised before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

    The purpose of the marine conservation areas program in 1995 was a reflection of the government's sea to sea to sea plan, which was developed in collaboration with marine scientists. The plan divided the Great Lakes and the country's Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans environments into 29 different marine regions.

    It is the government's long term goal to establish national marine conservation areas that are a representative sampling of each marine region. These representative areas will include not only important parts of Canada's natural heritage but will also protect important areas and artifacts of Canada's cultural heritage.

    Parks Canada has long years of experience in establishing and managing our special heritage places. I am referring of course to Canadian national parks, to our national historic sites, the historic canals and heritage rivers. The addition of national marine conservation areas to Canada's family of special places fills a significant gap since Canada's oceans and Great Lakes have always played a defining role in the country's economy, its culture and its identity.

    At present, four of Canada's 29 marine regions are represented within the national conservation system. In 1987 the governments of Canada and Ontario signed a federal-provincial agreement to establish Canada's first marine conservation area, Fathom Five. It is representative of the Georgian Bay marine region in the Great Lakes which historically is known as the Cape Hurd islands area. These treacherous waters have claimed many ships. Now Fathom Five is preserving part of Canada's marine history. The wrecks of 21 known sail and steam vessels from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century lie within the boundaries of Fathom Five.

    A 1988 agreement with the Government of British Columbia called for the establishment of Gwaii Haanas national marine conservation area reserve. Located at the southern end of the Queen Charlotte Islands, which is also known by its original name Haida Gwaii, it will represent both the Hecate Strait and the Queen Charlotte shelf marine regions.

    More than one million sea birds nest along the coast with even more migratory birds passing through in the spring and the fall. Marine species range from abalone to grey whales, and their presence has enriched significantly the cultural heritage of the Haida.

    In March 1997 four major oil companies agreed to transfer their offshore petroleum rights in the Gwaii Haanas marine area to the nature conservancy of Canada, which in turn surrendered them to the federal government. This process is an important step toward the designation of the site as a national marine conservation area reserve.

  +-(1205)  

    More recently the Government of British Columbia transferred its rights to the seabed within the boundaries of Gwaii Haanas to the federal government. However, before the area can be established, an interim management plan must be developed, including extensive local public consultations and negotiations with the Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Haida.

    The Saguenay-St. Lawrence marine park represents the St. Lawrence estuary marine region.

[Translation]

    In large part, this park was created in response to public demand by the local population for the preservation of beluga whales that live in the magnificent marine area known as the Saguenay fjord.

    The marine park in the Saguenay was created in 1988, as a joint initiative of the federal and provincial governments, by concurrent pieces of legislation, which opened the way to co-operative management by the federal government and the province of Quebec.

[English]

    Canadians can now visit each of these special places and see for themselves what a rich and varied marine heritage we are all privileged to share. We must also be able to bring heritage to Canadians where they live, in schools, in discovery centres and via the Internet.

    Work is also ongoing on a feasibility study for a national marine conservation area in Lake Superior in Ontario.

    Finally, a federal-provincial memorandum of understanding is in place to assess the feasibility of a national marine conservation area in the southern Strait of Georgia in British Columbia.

    The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage worked extremely hard during this review of the bill. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members who took part in the study. I also thank, very warmly, all members of all political parties who really played a very important part in reaching this stage of the bill.

    We have made a big step forward in Bill C-10. I would like to endorse the bill and hope that its acceptance as a statute will come soon. It what is best for all Canadians. It is a statute of great importance for marine conservation areas in Canada.

+-

    Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, after consultation with all parties, I believe that you would find unanimous consent to withdraw Motion No. 3 and to substitute in its place an amendment to the bill.

  +-(1210)  

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: I want to begin by having the member for Skeena assure the House that in fact he agrees to withdraw his motion, Motion No. 3.

+-

    Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance): I agree, Mr. Speaker.

    (Motion No. 3 withdrawn)

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: Does the hon. parliamentary secretary have the consent of the House to propose the amendment?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

+-

    Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Skeena:

Motion No. 3

        That Bill C-10 in clause 7 be amended by replacing lines 38 to 41 on page 6 with the following:

    (b) any agreements respecting the establishment of the area or reserve;

    (c) the results of any assessments of mineral and energy resources undertaken; and

    (d) an interim management plan that sets.
+-

    The Deputy Speaker: Is the House ready for the question?

    Some hon. members: Question.

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: The question is on Motion No. 1. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the nays have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Deputy Speaker: The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

    The next question is on Motion No. 2. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Deputy Speaker: The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

    The next question is on the new Motion No. 3. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the new motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Deputy Speaker: The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

    The next question is on Motion No. 4. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Deputy Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Deputy Speaker: In my opinion the nays have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Deputy Speaker: The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

    The House will now proceed to the consideration of the motions in Group No. 2.

  +-(1215)  

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor--St. Clair, NDP) moved:

Motion No. 5

That Bill C-10, in Clause 12, be amended by adding after line 37 on page 9 the following:

“(c) no person shall dredge or deposit fill within a marine conservation area; and

(d) no person shall engage in blasting within a marine conservation area.

+-

    Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance) moved:

Motion No. 6

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 13.

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor--St. Clair, NDP) moved:

Motion No. 7

That Bill C-10 be amended by adding after line 41 on page 9 the following new clause:

“13.1 (1) No person shall engage in finfish aquaculture within a marine conservation area.

(2) No person shall engage in fishing that involves the use of bottom trawling or dragging gear within a marine conservation area.

(3) No person shall construct or cause to be constructed oil or gas pipelines or power lines within a marine conservation area.

(4) No person shall use acoustic deterrence devices within a marine conservation area.”

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: It is my understanding that the hon. member for Windsor--St. Clair does not wish to proceed with Motion No. 8. Could the member please confirm that?

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin: I confirm that, Mr. Speaker.

+-

    The Deputy Speaker: Accordingly, Motion No. 8 will not be proceeded with.

+-

    Mr. Joe Comartin (Windsor--St. Clair, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I was going to start off my comments in a somewhat different way, but I will begin by speaking about the ideological underpinnings of these amendments, and quite frankly of the bill more generally, as a result of some of the earlier comments by my Alliance Party colleague from British Columbia.

    The suggestion was that amendments and position of my party on this bill were ideologically driven and not practical. There may be some validity to the ideologically driven part of it. The practicality issue I would reject. We have to set this in a planetary context. This is not the only government that has looked at these types of processes and legislation to protect our natural environment in its waters and seas.

    We have had such leftist governments, such as the United States government that has been involved with these types of endeavours for 20 plus years. The Australian government built a system based on a legislative framework to protect its natural environment in its oceans around its coastlines, as has New Zealand and a number of other countries across the world. These endeavours were not driven by an economic analysis per se. They were driven by the need to protect and conserve these natural areas.

    My friend from the Alliance suggests that this somehow is not a practical endeavour. The reality is that this legislation is much weaker than the legislation found in other countries and the motions before us attempt to strengthen the legislation. Nowhere is that more true than in the motions that I have with regard to clauses 12 and 13 of this legislation.

    There is no question that this reflects a different approach by my party than that of the government and certainly that of the Alliance Party. It is our belief that if we are serious about protecting the ecosystems in the oceans, around our shores and within our boundaries, such as in the Great Lakes, we need this type of protection. We have to be serious about what will be permitted and what will be prohibited in these natural areas.

    We already heard from the members on the other side of the House that this was only a framework piece of legislation. That very attitude unfortunately speaks to me about how serious the government is with respect to protecting these areas, both the ones that are tentatively designated now and those that will come in the future. If they were serious, they would support the amendments to clauses 12 and 13.

    If the members on the other side were considering the possibility, and I will use one example, of allowing bottom trawling or the use of dragging gear in the oceans, then they would not be really serious about protecting the natural environment and preserving it for future generations. As I said earlier, I want to expand a bit on this issue.

    Very recently we had some substantial research conducted on the coral that exists in the waters off of the Atlantic coast. It was interesting to hear some of the witnesses at the committee in the spring who talked about this and to look at the research that was done during the summer, including the pictures and videos that were taken by the research team.

  +-(1220)  

    The interesting part is that until very recently there was a strong belief in the research community that there was either little or no coral in the cold waters off our Atlantic coast. That was very recent. Research now shows that to be completely wrong and that the coral goes back 2,000 or 3,000 years. It is very small coral; it is not like the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia. Some of it is only one metre to one and a half metres in height but it has taken that long for it to accumulate. It provides one fragment of the ecosystem in that area.

    Huge trawlers have been going through using dragnets and literally ripping the coral off the bottom of the ocean floor. I talked about the research team that made the video this summer. It brought back pictures which showed sections of coral and then a big gaping hole. The only explanation that could be given was the trawlers and the dragging gear they use. That is one example. I will deal with another one.

    Although the legislation as drafted prohibits the exploration and development of carbon fossil fuel types of industrial endeavours, it does not prohibit the construction of a pipeline through one of these zones or designated areas.

    We have an image of the type of construction that would go on if we were to lay a pipeline in these areas and the damage that would be done to the ecosystem. That could be permitted under the legislation. It certainly is not prohibited.

    If the government is serious about the legislation, the amendments I propose for clauses 12 and 13 are absolutely mandatory. If there is to be any integrity or credibility to the legislation, those amendments should be passed.

    Going back to the ideology, one of our former prime ministers wrote an article in the Globe and Mail this week. He is a member of the board of the World Wildlife Fund of Canada. This goes back to the balancing act the government is arguing it has achieved, which is to balance off economic interests versus environmental interests. I always find it offensive when we have to talk in those terms. That is the type of analysis the government is bringing to bear. It said it found the right balance.

    In his article, Mr. Turner pointed out:

Our governments are currently leasing huge areas off Newfoundland and Nova Scotia for oil and gas development, which is also being carried on in the Arctic, including the Mackenzie Delta and the Beaufort Sea. Scientists tell us Arctic marine ecosystems and marine mammals, such as the polar bear, are further threatened by climate change.

    It is the cumulative effect again. He further said:

B.C. is contemplating lifting the moratorium on oil and gas activity off the west coast.

    That would be right in the ocean if the government lifts the moratorium. He made another point, and it is important to speak to our fishers on both coasts and in the north, that we have so badly decimated, perhaps destroyed permanently, our cod and wild salmon stocks. One cannot help but think that if the theme in the article and the background we are arguing for the legislation had been put in place 20, 30 or 50 years ago, we would not be faced with the loss of both those fisheries.

    He went on to make another point, and this is the underpinning which I believe we should have. He said that we have these first tentative steps that are important, and I recognize those. The last speaker from the government side made these points about some of the areas. Mr. Turner pointed out:

Although these first tentative steps are important, they do not reflect the scale or vision of what is really needed. Our national goal should be to establish a system of marine and freshwater protected areas, representing all 78 natural marine and freshwater regions of Canada, by 2010.

    In conclusion, the legislation as drafted will not accomplish that goal.

  +-(1225)  

+-

    Mr. Andy Burton (Skeena, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to represent the Canadian Alliance and my riding of Skeena in what is a very important debate. The bill will have a far-reaching impact on the entire coast of British Columbia, but in particular the northern coast which is in my riding.

    I will begin with a short summary of the events surrounding Bill C-10 as I see them. We are speaking to my amendment to delete clause 13, an amendment which I believe will make the bill far more palatable to British Columbians and Atlantic Canadians as well.

    The creation of this kind of legislation began with a policy initiative from Parks Canada in the 1980s which was to create a representative sampling of all marine regions in Canada and place them in the parks system to preserve their biodiversity in perpetuity for all the world to see and experience. A noble undertaking most would think; I believe it is a noble endeavour.

    The problem is the same as with any noble endeavour this or any other government undertakes. If the communication with stakeholders prior, and I repeat for emphasis, prior to the creation and implementation of a bill such as Bill C-10 were done properly, the bill would have been drafted in a manner acceptable to the province with the largest coastline, British Columbia. However this was not the case and we now have a piece of legislation that quite frankly the Liberal government promised the environmental movement it would pass in this parliament, regardless of whether or not it was poorly drafted.

    The poor drafting I am referring to deals with many clauses of the bill, from the preamble, to the creation of a marine conservation area or MCA, to the consultation regulations and more. However we are here to discuss clause 13, the very clause which gives most British Columbians great concern.

    So there is no misunderstanding, allow me to read clause 13 to the House of Commons so all members and viewers in our ridings understand just how draconian the clause really is and why it should be deleted from the bill. Clause 13 on page 9 reads:

No person shall explore for or exploit hydrocarbons, minerals, aggregates or any other inorganic matter within a marine conservation area.

    My motion is very simple. It states:

That Bill C-10 be amended by deleting Clause 13.

    What the clause means is that wherever the federal government decides to create a marine conservation area, for example off the coast of B.C., in that MCA as they are called, no one will ever be able to use the natural resources within or below that seabed.

    Many in this parliament who represent ridings outside B.C. may not know that our coastline holds vast treasures, notwithstanding a deposit of hydrocarbons the size of which would dwarf the reserves in Hibernia off the coast of Newfoundland. It is the future of these very reserves which is at stake with this legislation. Should Bill C-10 pass with clause 13 intact, the future of B.C.'s offshore oil and gas industry is definitely threatened.

    Some may wonder why it is that oil companies cannot use their sophisticated drilling equipment and drill under the MCA from a point outside the park. Why not? Directional drilling is used around the world with great results and a positive safety record. It is said that an oil rig can drill down and across a horizontal line thousands of metres. Figures as high as 10 kilometres are available. It would seem that to preserve the integrity of the MCA and provide a future income for B.C., this would or could have been done. However department officials tell us that as the bill is currently drafted this is impossible.

    This brings me to explain how we tried to arrive at a compromise with the government on this clause. We understand its concern for having oil rigs within MCAs so we tried to amend the clause to read that directional drilling from a point outside an MCA to a point within an MCA be permitted. We even went so far as to place the onus of safety to the environment on the backs of the oil companies to prove their methods would pose no harm to the environment. They would even have to prove this to the minister of heritage herself and only she could give final approval for directional drilling if she deemed it to be safe. The government flatly refused.

    I believe that the parliamentary secretary in committee said, and I am paraphrasing, that this is an area we cannot ever agree on or they are diametrically opposed to our view on this clause. Either way it was a flat out no. The government would not consider it.

    The heritage committee heard from numerous witnesses who were experts in the field of offshore oil and gas development who pleaded with the committee to allow such an amendment. Those requests fell on deaf ears. The Canadian Alliance heard them and tried to fix the problem. However the government ignored the reality of the situation and as usual, did what was best for it in Ottawa and not what would have been in the best interests of those most affected by the decisions made by this bubble of a world called the Government of Canada in Ottawa.

  +-(1230)  

    We tried to explain to the committee that the clause as written would have a devastating effect on British Columbia in more ways than one.

    Currently, the bill allows the federal government to place marine conservation areas on coastal waters it deems is the property of Her Majesty in right of Canada. Allow me to explain that the general rule is that coastal waters up to 10 nautical miles off the coast and between any land masses or islands are the exclusive right of the province and that anything beyond that 10 nautical mile line is the property of the federal government, up to our 200 nautical mile limit. This seems clear enough. However, a jurisdictional problem comes into play with British Columbia.

    There is a space of water called the inside passage, an area where the U.S. has free passage to get to the state of Alaska. This area has always been grey. Also, the federal government measures B.C.'s coastal area to 10 nautical miles from the mainland. It does not start measuring from the far western side of Vancouver Island or the far western side of the Queen Charlotte Islands as does the province. That leaves a large space of water called the Hecate Strait, Queen Charlotte Sound and the Juan de Fuca Strait as disputed areas.

    I believe jurisdiction has been solved for Juan de Fuca but it is still being disputed when it comes to the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound.

    Here is where the devil lies in the details: The heritage department plans to place at least five marine conservation areas in coastal B.C. since it says there are five representative regions of oceanic relevance in B.C. coastal waters. One of those areas is the Hecate Strait, another is the Queen Charlotte Sound. These areas are both within my riding of Skeena and are my specific concern. If these areas are slated for at least one MCA each and the jurisdiction of their waters is currently under dispute by the provincial government, how does this affect the creation of MCAs and the rules laid out in Bill C-10? This has been my question all along.

    Members may be wondering when I am going to relate all of this back to clause 13. I plan to do so shortly.

    The federal government does not consider these areas as under disputed jurisdiction; it believes them to be the government's, period.

    Getting back to clause 13, if the federal government can unilaterally place an MCA in an area it believes is within its right to do so and that same area holds an untold amount of reserves of oil and gas, then clause 13 prevents in perpetuity that area from ever being harvested. Now members can see my concern with clause 13. This could potentially have a devastating effect on the already poor economy of coastal British Columbia.

    Just look at what Hibernia has done for the economy of Newfoundland and those small coastal communities. Things are booming.

    After years of NDP mismanagement of the province of B.C., we need those oil and gas reserves to put our province back on the map. If Bill C-10 goes through the House without clause 13 deleted, B.C. can kiss its future economic potential goodbye. It can send its thanks to the Liberal federal government and its ignorance of a people needing to be self-reliant.

    I mentioned at the beginning that neither I nor my party is against marine conservation areas and I want to stress that. However, we want balance in the legislation as opposed to a one-sided view to the needs of the environment.

    The second outcome of clause 13 may very well be that the provincial government may never allow or cede its rights to lands the federal government knows is a provincial jurisdiction to allow an MCA to be created if it cannot ever harvest the sub-seabed resources.

    If the clause is left intact and should Bill C-10 be passed, it could cause B.C. to not have the MCA it wants because it cannot afford to give up those natural resources below the seabed of that MCA.

    Where would that leave the environmentalists? They would have a defective piece of legislation which the federal Liberal government has said it will pass regardless and there would likely be MCAs on federal land only. Should those MCAs be on disputed lands, the federal government would be looking at constitutional challenges from the province, likely won by the province. Since clause 13 outlaws the development of those hydrocarbons in the MCA, the province would be forced to shut down that MCA in order to develop the oil and gas.

    All this could be avoided if the government would just amend the bill by deleting clause 13.

    I stress that this could have been much easier if the government, through the parliamentary secretary, had allowed our amendment for directional drilling.

    I truly believe the federal government really does not understand the needs of British Columbians. Perhaps that is why it only has two elected representatives in B.C.

    I urge all members to stop the trend of thinking by bureaucrats who do not have to live with the effects of their decisions and to support my amendment to delete clause 13 of the bill.

    I remind all members representing coastal ridings that although I have not focused on Atlantic Canada, I am told there is also jurisdictional dispute over waters on their coast. They too could be held hostage by this clause some day. I urge the House to support the deletion of clause 13.

  +-(1235)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Robert Lanctôt (Châteauguay, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois wishes to protect the environment, but is it necessary to do it by a duplication of jurisdictions and services?

    We believe that the creation of marine conservation areas meets the objectives of numerous international forums, such as the World Conservation Strategy of 1980. However, such objectives, though they maybe commendable, should not lead to an overlap of our respective jurisdictions. As a matter of fact, subsection 92(5) of the British North America Act, 1867 gives Quebec exclusive jurisdiction over the management and sale of public lands. Why redo what has already been done?

    If the federal government intends to use environmental protection legislation to take over provincial lands, this is unacceptable. Instead, we must encourage co-operation between Quebec and the federal government. It is time that this government stopped using a steamroller and centralizing approach.

    Quebec's legislation on public lands covers all lands, including the beds of rivers and lakes. Quebec has legislative jurisdiction over this area and it has already passed legislation. Why then have federal legislation that would deny the exclusive jurisdiction of Quebec and provinces? Is Quebec not as competent to meet conservation objectives?

    Let us not forget that the management of the bed of the St. Lawrence River is a Quebec jurisdiction by sovereign right. The protection of habitats and fauna is a matter of joint federal and provincial jurisdiction. In this respect, the Quebec government is establishing a framework for the protection of marine areas. It is also possible to protect habitats and fauna through co-operation.

    The Bloc Quebecois showed demonstrated its co-operation by supporting the bill establishing the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park, in 1997. Despite this successful co-operation, the federal government is stubbornly opposing a process that is working well. Why is the federal government once again refusing to respect Quebec and listen to reason?

    I am concerned about the future of intergovernmental relations. How can we trust a legislative process that does not respect the public interest, and a government that does not respect its own departments? Let us not forget that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans already has a marine area protection program, and I want to insist on the fact that this program is already in place.

    This bill is another example of pernicious interference on the part of a centralizing federal government in Quebec's exclusive jurisdictions, and another example of the methods used by the federal government, which ignores other partnership experiences that were very successful. Why not follow a process that has worked very well and that would work very well once again? Will the federal government respect Quebec some day?

    The outcome of such a bill is obvious: confusion, but above all a lack of respect. It could result in a duplication of tasks and jurisdictions, within a government that does not even see it. How can the federal government justify this useless duplication?

    How will we find our way through all these terms to protect the environment? With this bill, the government wants to create marine conservation areas through heritage canada, when there are already marine protection areas under the responsibility of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and marine wildlife areas under Environment Canada. Again, how will we find our way through all this? Even the government seems completely lost and conveniently forgets that programs to protect habitats and fauna are already in place.

    If we stop and think about it, there is no way to know who will take precedence in the event of conflict. Which of these departments will have the last word. Who is going to decide this? To decide is to disparage one department compared to another.

    This overlap is a double-edged sword for the federal government. The government insists that the environment is a priority, but it is using this bill as an opportunity to promote national identity, thereby denying the true objectives of the bill. After all, Heritage Canada is not known for its environmental expertise.

  +-(1240)  

    A dangerous appropriation of resources emerges from all of this confusion, and it will quickly become insurmountable. Even officials from the various departments are lost. It is impossible to understand. We are not the only ones who will not understand it. It is easy to imagine how this overlap will create confusion among the major environmental stakeholders.

    Who will really manage these protection areas? In the case of a conflict, which department will settle the matter? And which department will truly be able to penalize offenders. Just who will be able to make any sense of this quagmire of overlapping departmental policies? These are some of the many questions which remain unanswered.

    If the risk of confusion within the same government is so great, one can only imagine the resulting confusion when you add in other levels of government and all of the stakeholders. It the departments within one government cannot get their act together, how are they going to interact with Quebec and the provincial governments?

    It is plain to see why Quebec would refuse to co-operate on this project. First, there is a flagrant disrespect for areas of responsibility belonging to Quebec exclusively. Second, the federal government is incapable of providing the specific reasons as to why this is a Heritage Canada bill, when the Department of Fisheries and Oceans already has a program in place.

    First off, we oppose the bill, because the aim of the federal government with it is to appropriate lands under the jurisdiction of Quebec and the provinces by legislating the creation of marine areas.

    In addition, the Bloc Quebecois opposes the bill because it ignores the distribution of exclusive jurisdictions set out in subsection 92(5) of the British North America Act, 1867.

    The Bloc Quebecois opposes this bill because it will not fail to produce endless administrative problems. It can truly be said at this point that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. The stakes are too high to be taken lightly. The effects are serious and will, in some cases, be irreversible. Therefore respect for the division of exclusive jurisdictions is essential to preclude all ambiguity. Co-operation must be encouraged to avoid unnecessary and harmful duplication.

    The Bloc Quebecois opposes this bill, because Heritage Canada is trying to take over jurisdictions other than its own. It is unacceptable that Heritage Canada should attempt to have legislation passed to acquire land.

    In short, the federal government, through Heritage Canada, is attempting to meddle in areas of Quebec's and the provinces' jurisdiction under cover of the environment.

    Finally, the Bloc Quebecois opposes Bill C-10 because of the duplication of responsibilities among the various levels of government and departments within the same government.

    I am disappointed by the roundabout way the federal government is trying to appropriate areas of jurisdiction belonging to Quebec and the provinces. Once again, the federal government has chosen to introduce a bill that does not respect Quebecers and fails to consider actions and programs already in place. Finally, the federal government has chosen to flatten its own departments by firing up its centralizing steamroller, ignoring partnerships that have proven themselves.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney--Alouette, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, I have three brief points to make at this stage of the debate.

    First, I would like to begin by touching on the motions brought forward by my friend from Windsor--St. Clair. Again I commend him for bringing forward these ideas. I am not sure we can support all of them because they are very restrictive. It pains me to say this, but I think the government has had some balance in some other clauses which actually addresses these issues and part of Motion No. 7 is actually covered in clause 13 of the bill.

    Second, what we saw earlier in this place at report stage on the first group of motions was quite unique. What happened, for those who are not aware of it, is that we had a very important amendment brought forward by our colleague from Skeena, which he withdrew with the consent of the House because the parliamentary secretary, on behalf of the minister and the government, incorporated the intent of that amendment into a government amendment. I believe that is a good faith step on the government's part to demonstrate that it is willing to take into consideration some of the ideas and concerns that have been brought forward by opposition members and incorporate them in the bill.

    I want to highlight that because it does not happen very often. In fact, I do not know if I have ever seen that happen in this place. The parliamentary secretary moved the motion and it was seconded by the member for Skeena, a member of the official opposition.

    That is a small step, I think, but is one that we need to celebrate in regard to the fact that we can move forward together in this place on even a small issue such as that.

    The third point I will make is that I hope the goodwill in making that small change to this bill demonstrates to us the intent of the government toward the rest of the bill. It demonstrates that the concerns brought forward by my colleagues on the opposition side have been considered and that it is not the intent of the government to proceed with the creation of a marine conservation area unless there is extensive consultation with the jurisdictional areas in which that zone would be created, and a zone would not be created in an area where there may be high potential for gas and oil exploration. The fact that the parliamentary secretary has brought forward the motion would seem to indicate that is the intent of the government.

    I will close by simply saying that it is our strong hope that the degree of trust we are putting in the government to make this change and some of the other changes that have been made in terms of consultation, which I will address in much more detail tomorrow at the next stage of the reading of this bill, is held to, that the changes we have attempted to put into the bill will change the letter of the law so that the spirit of the law may be adhered to, that is, that there will be wide consultation with all concerned parties before an area is created. We think it is a good idea to create marine conservation areas, but we think it must be done in balance with consideration of the local communities where these marine conservation areas will be established.

    I will end my remarks by saying that it was positive that we made that change together here in the House. We should support the amendment later on in this place.

  +-(1245)  

+-

    Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I again thank all members for participating today in the debate at report stage. I would like to address the amendments proposed by the member for Windsor--St. Clair.

    I understand the member's concern about ecological integrity. As I said earlier, ecological integrity is a key principle that governs our parks legislation. Parks Canada would continue to administer the marine conservation areas. The purpose of the bill is very different from that of the parks act. We are trying to strike a balance between sustainable use and protection.

    We want to engage the coastal communities, as the member for Skeena brought forward many times. We listened to those coastal communities during the hearings. We must look at the bill as a different type of legislation than the parks act. It is legislation which looks at the ecosystems. It is not only about the management of ecosystems but also about people living in their communities, appreciating the environment and working together to manage the ecosystems.

    Another part of the bill is about educating Canadians from coast to coast to coast about our wonderful marine heritage. Therefore it is quite different from the parks act.

    The principles of ecological integrity are absolutely key to the national parks. We must also remember that national marine conservation areas are not parks on water. They are quite different and their needs are quite different.

    The potential for zoning is provided so that we can work with communities to determine which are so-called no take zones and which are the ones that people can enjoy. I understand where the hon. member is coming from and appreciate his comments and concerns. However we have to be very clear that this is different legislation from the parks act.

    As I said previously, when we were looking at the first set of amendments there was fear of creating too many prohibitions. Many environmental groups felt that we did not go far enough in this area, but the problem with too many prohibitions was that there was fear from coastal communities that they would not be able to take advantage of parts of the marine system that they needed for their livelihood.

    We want to ensure that we are able to get consensus to have these representative areas along with the sampling within the 29 regions that have been established by our scientists.

    I will speak to the amendment proposed by the member for Skeena which would delete clause 13. We cannot agree to the amendment. The Canadian Alliance is asking us to remove a key conservation provision of the bill. That is not something the government is willing to do or will accept as an amendment.

    The intent of the motion was to allow exploration and exploitation of non-renewable resources. It is very important that this is not just a Liberal idea. In fact activities involving non-renewable resources are banned in marine protected areas worldwide. It is an international understanding that those activities are prohibited.

    Clause 13 is also a response to the overwhelming concerns of environmental scientists and the general public regarding oil spills that sometimes result from offshore production and damage.What we are trying to do is not only look at the ecological integrity but manage it. We feel it is absolutely vital that we retain clause 13. If we remove clause 13 we will be truly removing one of the vital conservation areas of the bill.

    All parties agreed to the amendment regarding mineral and energy assessment. Therefore there are mineral assessments before a marine conservation area is designated. We will put that into the act with all party consent.

  +-(1250)  

    It is not the intention of the government to impose a marine conservation area on communities that do not want it. There was an example where a feasibility study was undertaken on the east coast. The community felt that it did not want it and we did not proceed with it. I want to make it absolutely clear that it will never be the intention to unilaterally impose a marine conservation area on a community or province.

    We are working in partnership with the provinces. If the bed lies within provincial jurisdiction my colleagues should look at subsection 5(2)(b) of the act to ensure that we truly respect and do not overrule the province's jurisdiction. We look forward to working in partnership with communities and provinces to ensure that we find these representative samplings.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): Is the House ready for the question?

    Some hon. members: Question.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The question is on Motion No. 5. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): In my opinion the nays have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

    The next question is on Motion No. 6. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): In my opinion the nays have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

    The next question is on Motion No. 7. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

    Some hon. members: Yea.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): All those opposed will please say nay.

    Some hon. members: Nay.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): In my opinion the nays have it.

    And more than five members having risen:

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

  +-(1255)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Yvon Godin: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I thought we had to proceed with standing votes.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): To respond to the hon. member's question, this is exactly what we are doing.

    Call in the members.

    And the bells having rung:

[English]

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): At the request of the chief government whip the vote is deferred until 3 o'clock this afternoon.

+-

    Mr. Geoff Regan: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Following consultations among all the parties I believe you would find unanimous consent to proceed now to private members' business.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): Is there unanimous consent?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Translation]

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): It being 12.59 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper.


+-Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

*   *   *

[Translation]

+- Canada Labour Code

+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ) moved that Bill C-340, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

    She said: Mr. Speaker, I rise with a lot of emotion today.

    This bill, which is unfortunately non-votable, because it was decided otherwise—perhaps it is a little too forward looking for the government—deals with preventive withdrawal of pregnant or nursing women.

    We must realize that more and more women enter the labour force every year. Women now account for 45% of employees in general. Consequently, the number of women involved in occupational accidents has also risen.

    These new realities beg the question of not only reconciliating family and professional responsibilities, but also of adapting working conditions to the presence of mothers and pregnant employees.

    The labour market is also facing other new realities. Indeed, pregnant women tend to stay at work longer than before, because of their often uncertain financial circumstances.

    The statistics are eloquent: 82% of single parent families are headed by women; 83% of these families live under the poverty line; 91% are on welfare; and 61% of workers receiving minimum wage are women.

    When it comes to preventive withdrawal, Canada has a two tier system and it is women in Quebec, whose jobs are governed by the Canada Labour Code, who are footing the bill. We in the Bloc Quebecois have made countless efforts to remedy the situation, including moving an amendment to Bill C-12.

    In May 2000, during debate on Bill C-12, which amended part II of the Canada Labour Code, we proposed an amendment that would have entitled Quebec women who were pregnant or nursing and whose jobs were governed by the Canada Labour Code to benefits under the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail du Québec.

    I would note that, during the debate on this bill, we worked very hard and brought in an incredible number of witnesses to appear before the committee. And I do not think that the Bloc Quebecois was alone in its efforts.

    We asked all the unions to appear, including the CSN, the FTQ and even a lawyer specializing in the area of preventive withdrawal for pregnant or nursing women. This lawyer has also written a book and teaches at the University of Montreal. She has worked on specific cases involving preventive withdrawal for pregnant or nursing women.

    She appeared before the committee and told us horror stories about how women in federally regulated jobs, jobs governed by the Canada Labour Code, were not entitled to the benefit of preventive withdrawal. It is so complicated that it is ridiculous.

    When one is expecting a baby is often the most important period in a woman's life. It is incomprehensible to me that, in this day and age, a woman is not allowed to go through her pregnancy with peace of mind, knowing that her child will be born healthy and that she will be able to raise it herself and give it everything it needs.

    I feel obliged to give a historical overview of the repeated calls that have been made for changes since 1991, and not from my party or even this side of the House.

    First, Joy Langan of the NDP introduced Motion M-147 on May 13, 1991, which read as follows:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should pass a bill for the protection of pregnant or nursing employees from workplace hazards, guaranteeing them continuity of employment in a hazard-free environment.

    Again that year, 1991, the same NDP member introduced a similar motion, Motion M-143.

    On May 17, 1990, the hon. member for Abitibi--Baie-James--Nunavik, who is still sitting in this House, but at that time was a member of the Progressive Conservative Party, also introduced a motion, M-655, calling for the same thing.

  +-(1300)  

    The current leader of our party, the hon. member for Laurier--Sainte-Marie, also called for changes to Bill C-101, on June 1, 1993. My colleague the member for Québec also introduced a motion along the same lines once again, in March of 1995.

    I could go on. For instance, during the revision of the Canada Labour Code, part II, I personally proposed major amendments to protect women workers

    There are two points relating to that. I was told that when the Canada Labour Code, part II, was revised, as it was last year, amendments would be made to protect female workers, to ensure that women working under federal jurisdiction would have the same rights to preventive withdrawal as women under provincial jurisdiction.

    When we came to carry out that revision of the CLC, part II, we presented some major amendments and these were rejected by the minister. Her response: “We will reach a decision when we revise part III of the Canada Labour Code”. This makes no sense any more. This has been going on for ten years.

    I have proof of this. They did not want this bill to be votable. That is very disappointing. It is disappointing for women who decide to become pregnant and whose workplaces are not necessarily safe during pregnancy.

    Yesterday, a woman named Annie Poirier came to my office. For a while now she has been fighting and working for precautionary cessation of work. I would like to congratulate her for what she does. Her task is certainly not an easy one, because she works in a detention center. Such a working environment is not friendly, especially at the federal level. The employees are not dealing with angels, they are constantly in direct contact with prisoners incarcerated for two years or more.

    These women work with prisoners all day long. They occasionally face very problematic situations and, in some cases, situations that can be dangerous for their own health and their baby's health. They live under permanent and very heavy stress. I do not know if you ever visited a federal prison, but it is quite difficult for a woman to work in such conditions. Those who do are not allowed precautionary cessation of work, and that is incredible.

    I asked the Quebec department of labour—the CSST in fact, because we are enforcing the legislation with the CSST—to conduct a study in order to see if the CSST could manage the precautionary cessation of work program at the federal level if ever the federal government made commitments in that regard. I was told that it was possible, that the only requirement was that we come to an agreement with the federal government and that the legislation could very well be enforced at both levels of government.

    All we need now is some political will on the part of the present government, but it is not forthcoming. Do not tell me that something will be changed in part III of the Canada Labour Code. It is not true.

    When part II of the labour code was revised, we invited non political witnesses to appear before the committee because we wanted the minister to understand that it is crucial that living conditions of women be improved. She did not do anything, and it is very disappointing, all the more so because the minister is a woman. She knows what it is like to be pregnant, and what the risks are.

    I wanted some action, but nothing happened. I introduced this bill, but it cannot be put to a vote. What is going to happen? I know all my colleagues are going to speak on this issue.

    I am deeply disappointed, but I swear I will not give up. Things will change. We will find a way to bring about some changes, because,this situation is unconscionable.

    I would like to tell the House about what happened to a young woman who is a flight attendant. Flight attendants are under the Canada Labour Code. If they want, female attendants can withdraw from work, but they must have worked a total of 600 hours, and they will only get 55% of their wages, because they will be receiving employment insurance benefits.

  +-(1305)  

    If they could avail themselves of preventive withdrawal, they would get 90% of their salary without having to rely on employment insurance benefits. This is something altogether different.

    This young woman, a flight attendant, was on an airplane and a problem occurred. At one point, she had to remain on board four extra hours because of a mechanical breakdown. She could not avail herself of preventive withdrawal, and she lost her baby in her seventh month of pregnancy.

    It is unacceptable that such things still happen in our modern society. The employment insurance fund has a surplus of $37 billion and yet we are unable to use a small amount of money to allow women to avail themselves of preventive withdrawal. This is a ridiculous.

    However, I believe it is wonderful to see young women like Annie Poirier out there creating coalitions so that women can benefit from what I call a natural basis, a normal basis to survive and give birth.

    Giving birth is the most wonderful thing in the world. If one cannot do it in total security, in total health, I wonder in what kind of country we are living. We spend money for all kinds of useless things but we are unable to address particular circumstances to allow women to give birth to healthy babies.

    This measure would not cost a fortune. Let us look of our birth rate. The problem is not there. The problem is the absence of will on the part of the government at this time. This is something I cannot understand.

    I hope that members who are here will give serious consideration to this bill. I know that I will not be able to introduce it again under its present form. However, I do hope that we hold this debate, because it addresses a critical issue. It has been under discussion for ten years now.

    The Bloc is not alone. As I said earlier, the New Democratic Party and the Progressive Conservative Party also took initiative in that regard. I am sure that there are many backbenchers who would like to see this happen one day, but they do not dare to speak out because of the party line. That is part of the political game.

    I hope that the rules of the House will change because I find it unacceptable to introduce such an important bill—I consider it important, as important as any other bill introduced here—and then to be unable to vote on it.

    However, I would like to see my colleagues, and all the women in this parliament, vote on this bill. There is a lack of will in this regard, because they made sure that we could not vote on bill C-340.

    We work here in the House and also at the committee. We work hard. We invite people to appear before the committee; there is a FTQ-CSN coalition—we can name them all—and they all agree that things have to change.

    Do members know what excuse was given by the government the last time? I was told “This is all fine and well, Ms. Guay, it is done in Quebec; we admire you for that, but it is not done in other provinces”. My goodness, let us lead by example. Let us do it here at the federal level.

    Let us take our responsibilities toward women, toward our children and toward our families. Let us support them. Let us pass a bill at the federal level. This will force the provinces to do the same in their jurisdictions eventually.

    But no, here we never make the first move. We cannot do that; it would be dangerous. We must not speak out too much. There is a lack of political courage. The government has proven to me that it lacks political courage to an incredible extent.

    And they had better not talk about the cost, because this will not cost much. In Quebec, we would even agree to have such legislation entrusted to the CSST.

    I will listen very carefully to what my colleagues have to say about this bill and I will come back at the end of the debate to draw my conclusions.

  +-(1310)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. Gurbax Malhi (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-340.

    When the member opposite talks about pregnant and nursing mothers, she is talking about a subject that the government takes very seriously. I want to assure her that the government shares her concern for the well-being of women who are pregnant or nursing. We welcome her interest in this matter.

    While we have a shared interest in protecting pregnant and nursing mothers in the workplace, we feel that the kind of changes proposed to the Canada Labour Code in Bill C-340 are premature.

    The protection of women in the workplace, and especially of pregnant and nursing mothers, is a complex area of social policy. It involves occupational safety and health legislation, matters of workplace standards, the judgments of medical professionals, and, ultimately, the personal decisions of individual women.

    To better understand the legislative situation, it is helpful first to remember that the Canada Labour Code, which Bill C-340 proposes to amend, applies only to employees working under federal jurisdiction.

    Examples are transportation and communication sectors, banks and other industries that are under federal jurisdiction. While this includes many large organizations, industries under federal jurisdiction actually account for only about 10% of employees in Canada.

    In other words, 90% of the working population are governed by provincial or territorial labour legislation.

    In this regard, provincial or territorial governments are free to introduce whatever measures they deem to be appropriate for their jurisdictions.

    We also need to look at--

*   *   *

  +-(1315)  

[Translation]

+-Business of the House

[Business of the House]
+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member during his speech. I have nothing against his speech.

    I believe that you will find that, following consultations between the parties in the House, there is now unanimous consent to move the following motion.

    I move:

    That the hon. member for Joliette be recognized as the first speaker during today's emergency debate on softwood lumber, instead of the hon. member for Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques, who moved the request for the emergency debate.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): Is there unanimous consent of the House to move this motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)

[English]

*   *   *

+-Canada Labour Code

[Private Members' Business]

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-340, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

+-

    Mr. Gurbax Malhi (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we also need to look at parts II and III of the Canada Labour Code. Part II relates to occupational safety and health and part III governs labour standards.

    Members of the House will recall the extensive consultations and discussions on protecting the safety and health of pregnant and nursing women in the workplace that led to recent amendments to part II of the Canada Labour Code.

    At that time the House approved a new section in part II of the Canada Labour Code, section 132, to improve protection for pregnant or nursing women.

    Section 132 states that a pregnant or nursing woman who believes her job creates a risk for her or for the fetus or child has the right to stop doing her job and can take the necessary time with pay to consult her physician to ascertain if she really is at risk.

    Under section 132, the employee is entitled to receive all the benefits and wages attached to her job until she obtains a medical certificate supporting her claim.

    If it is determined that a woman should not remain at work because of health risks to herself, her fetus or nursing child, she is then entitled to protection under part III of the code, the section that sets out standards and employer obligations in the workplace.

    On maternity related measures, for example, part III sets out specific protection for pregnant or nursing mothers. For example, part III requires the employer to modify the employee's working conditions or to reassign her to another job if she is deemed to be at risk.

    If neither of these options are available, then the employee is entitled to leave and whatever financial support would be related to that leave status.

    Based on practical experience, most women under the federal jurisdiction have access to salary replacement through employment insurance and/or private insurance schemes when they take this leave.

    In other words, the Canada Labour Code now includes comprehensive measures to ensure safe and healthy working environments for pregnant and nursing mothers. In addition, it provides for leave and it allows for access to financial compensation for the pregnant or nursing mother who is deemed to be at risk in the workplace.

    Bill C-340 asks us to change the federal law so that pregnant or nursing employees under federal jurisdiction in a province would be entitled to have their personal circumstances dealt with according to the laws of the province and not under the Canada Labour Code.

    It is important to note that the province of Quebec is the only jurisdiction in Canada that has a program for pregnant and nursing mothers that differs fundamentally from the federal standard. Thus, the practical effect of the bill would be to create a different system for employees under federal jurisdiction in Quebec as compared with the rest of the country.

    Changes like this could have implications for labour legislation throughout Canada. When the member opposite proposes we use federal law to influence labour policy at the provincial level, she is entering into an area of constitutional complexity.

    Speaking for the federal government, we have to look at what is in the best interests of the country overall. This means being willing to look at the potential to work co-operatively with the provinces and territories so that new proposals can be broadly explored.

    Our successful experience in other areas of social policy, such as the national children's agenda and improvements in programs to support children and families throughout Canada, illustrates what is possible when we keep an open mind.

  +-(1320)  

    These examples show the positive value of working co-operatively to improve the lives of Canadians. They also illustrate that the federal government is willing to discuss and implement new ideas that will benefit all Canadians. Indeed, the government is always interested in looking at new ideas that will improve the lives of Canadians.

    In the case of pregnant or nursing mothers, perhaps there are some useful lessons to be learned from Quebec's experience in the area of social policy but we need to look at that experience much more carefully before we can vote for the kind of fundamental change proposed in Bill C-340.

    While we welcome the member's ideas, we suggest that the bill is premature and needs a great deal more work.

+-

    Mr. Dale Johnston (Wetaskiwin, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I stand today on behalf of my party to speak to Bill C-340, a bill that seeks to amend the Canada Labour Code to allow pregnant and nursing employees to take advantage of provincial occupational health and safety legislation.

    Right off the bat I will congratulate my colleague, the member for Laurentides, on having her bill chosen for debate. I know this is something she has worked very hard on for quite a while and something for which she feels very passionate. This particular area has been an interest of hers for quite some time.

    Members in the House come from many various backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures, and certainly have different philosophies. We do not always agree on policy. However, the one thing I think we all share in common is the fact that we all had mothers and we all share the concern over the safety and health of expectant and nursing mothers.

    A few months ago part II of the Canada Labour Code was amended. It was under that review that the committee was studying the proposed amendments and heard witnesses from Quebec who, like the hon. member for Laurentides, supported change to the federal legislation that would bring in line the standards in the province of Quebec.

    As previous speakers have noted, pregnant and nursing mothers in Quebec can obtain a reassignment of their duties if the working conditions are hazardous to the mother, the fetus or the nursing child. The employee in Quebec has the right to cease work without the loss of rights or benefits if the employee is not reassigned.

    Under part II of the Canada Labour Code, a pregnant or nursing employee may stop performing her job if she believes the health of the child is at risk. She is required to consult a physician as soon as possible but in the interim can be either reassigned or, if a reassignment is not possible, can receive the wages and benefits she would ordinarily be entitled to receive for that period during which she did not perform the job. I think this is a reasonable provision if the worker is first removed from her job if there is a health related concerned and her wages and benefits are protected.

    This bill, however, would give the federally regulated employees the right to “avail herself” of the regulations in place for workers in the province in which she works. Does this mean the worker can cherry pick from the program of her choosing? Until or unless the federal government gives complete control of this area to the provinces, the federal law, in my opinion, must prevail.

    Quebec seems to be the only province with this type of program. As the hon. member will be given a chance to wind up the debate with a five minute summation, I would like her to answer a few questions for me. How will the bill help pregnant and nursing mothers in other parts of Canada other than Quebec where there is no such provincial legislation that states a mother can choose from or, as the member says, avail herself of?

    Could the member for Laurentides address how well this program is working in the province of Quebec? I listened to her comments when she said that we should not ask her what the program costs because it was an investment. I would like her to let us know how much this program does cost in Quebec.

    We could probably debate for the rest of this session the advantages and payoffs that would come from proper health and safety for expectant mothers and their babies. I would still like to know what this costs the provincial treasury in the province of Quebec, as well as the employers. The employers obviously have to be partners in a situation like this as well.

    I would also like to know how many expectant or nursing mothers take advantage of the program on an annual basis.

  +-(1325)  

    What are the criteria? What types of situations are covered? Such a program, while nice to have, has to have an expense to it. It has to be fairly expensive, I think, to operate and to administer.

    I would also like the member to explain to the House who pays for the program and what, if any, are the premiums? Does the working mother have to pay a premium into a fund? Is it some kind of insurance? Does it all come out of the employer's pocket? How does it work?

    Has the hon. member for Laurentides, and I am sure she has, done an analysis or obtained estimates of how much the program would cost to implement on a national basis?

    Does she have any intention of spreading the idea that they have in Quebec across to the other provinces and territories? If so, I wonder how she would go about doing it.

    It is fine to cherry pick from this situation or from the provincial legislation but if there is no legislation in, say, Saskatchewan, British Columbia or the Northwest Territories, then the bill would really be of no effect to the people who live in those other areas until such provincial legislation is passed. I see the bill as strictly being relevant to people, expectant mothers and so forth, in the provinces of Quebec.

    Until jurisdiction for labour is placed solely under a provincial jurisdiction, I believe the federal law must prevail.

    There will be another opportunity, as the member opposite has mentioned, to review this issue when part III of the Canada Labour Code is amended. We have been waiting for some time to see if there will be amendments and I am convinced there will be, probably later this year.

+-

    Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I too am pleased to take part in the debate on Bill C-340 on behalf of the NDP caucus. As the labour critic for our party I sat with the member for Laurentides for months as we reviewed part II of the Canada Labour Code. I can personally attest to the hard work that was done by the hon. member for Laurentides in trying to get this issue to the forefront of the national agenda or even onto the table of the national agenda. She demonstrated a great deal of compassion and was a very good advocate on behalf of working women everywhere in this country in the degree of passion she demonstrated for the issue.

    The hon. member pointed out in her speech that this issue has been before the House of Commons for a decade or more. This is not new to today's debate nor was it new when we debated Bill C-12 or Bill C-19, the amendments to the Canada Labour Code that we have dealt with recently. She points out that as long ago as 1990 there was a motion before the House of Commons where like-minded people argued aggressively that the workplace was changing and that we had a duty to accommodate those changes and certainly to accommodate the growing number of women in the workforce.

    We have finally reached equality, virtually, in terms of the labour market share. We have not reached equality in the labour market conditions for women. Women might make up 50% of the workforce, but they have not achieved equality in terms of compensation or the terms and conditions of their employment or the accommodation of the special circumstances facing women in the workforce, such as perhaps one of the most obvious, the issue of pregnant and nursing mothers.

    When the bill was brought before the House I expected a higher degree of sensitivity for this issue from the other members of the House of Commons. I am appalled, frankly, at the lack of sensitivity demonstrated, especially by the spokesperson for the government side.

    We believe, and the point was well made by the member for Laurentides, that we have a duty and an obligation to strive to achieve the highest common denominator in this country. If the federal legislation is to be considered a national standard, we then have an obligation to seek out the best conditions in the country, not to sink to the lowest conditions in any aspect of labour legislation. In the case of the province of Quebec, it has had the foresight, the political capital, I suppose, to achieve an element of fairness that goes beyond what we enjoy in the federal jurisdiction.

    Therefore, it is only fair, and in the interests and the well-being of the people living in a jurisdiction where the terms of employment provincially exceed the terms of employment enjoyed in the federal jurisdiction, that a person should have the right to avail himself or herself of the terms that are more favourable for the worker, especially in the instance of a pregnant or nursing mother.

    This should be one thing that we can all feel generous enough in our hearts to allow. Perhaps it could then serve as an example of how we might harmonize the jurisdictional differences in the workforce on other issues as well. However, we could start here. I argue it was a missed opportunity when we reviewed part II of the Canada Labour Code. We dropped the football in this case because we had a chance to introduce an element of fairness into the Canada Labour Code and we chose not to. It was not for lack of trying because the amendments were made at both stages where amendments are possible in the development of the bill. The hon. member worked very hard.

    The only argument that was put forward by the Liberal side as to why it cannot support the bill was the weak and tired old warhorse that it is somehow a unity issue. Not only is that untrue in this case, but I believe it is 180° opposite from the truth.

  +-(1330)  

    Let us think of the example of a worker, a pregnant or nursing mother living in the province of Quebec who availed herself of the possibility of opting out of a certain workplace because she thought it was unsafe. If that happens we will have created two classes of worker in the province of Quebec. We might have two sisters who live in houses next door to each other, one who works for the province of Quebec under Quebec jurisdiction and the other who works for the federal government under federal jurisdiction. They live in the same city, in the same community. One will now be given full compensation for the period of time she has off and the other will be penalized by getting 55% of her income just because she works for the federal government instead of the province of Quebec. That would breed hostility. That would breed disunity. That would cause animosity among the working women in the province of Quebec.

    If the only argument that can be raised here is the fact that it is somehow a unity issue or a constitutional or jurisdictional issue, let me say that in fact it is unnecessarily creating an environment of hostility and resentment among the working women of Quebec. We do a lot of things differently in our dealings with the province of Quebec. Even if for the time being the only advantage to this small amendment would be for the working women of Quebec, why is that a reason not to do it, if it introduces an element of fairness for those people?

    It would also have the effect of pulling up the conditions in the other provinces, those provinces that are not fortunate enough to have such good terms and conditions. Were this in place, the best terms would have primacy, or in other words we would always gravitate to the highest common denominator and it would pull the other provinces along. We would then really be using federal legislation to its highest purpose, I believe, which is to elevate the standards right across the country from coast to coast.

    Anyone who speaks against the motion is speaking for the status quo, which I believe is patently unfair. The status quo penalizes pregnant and nursing women when they opt for the right to refuse dangerous work, work that is dangerous either to themselves or to the fetus. We believe this is the only example in which when workers use their right to refuse unsafe work they suffer any kind of monetary setback. Why is it we have selected pregnant and nursing women to be the only group of workers who, when they exercise the right to refuse unsafe work, suffer a monetary penalty? That is unfair. I presume that is why the province of Quebec decided many years ago to change that situation: because it is patently unfair when these women are doing something that is best for their babies.

    It borders on negligence to first open up the workforce so that more women are taking part and then not accommodate or take every step to accommodate women in the workplace. Out of ten provinces and three territories one province chose to rectify that and to remedy that unfairness. We believe that should stand as the highest common denominator and it should have primacy over any lesser piece of legislation as it affects working women.

    Therefore I speak strongly in favour of Bill C-340 and I thank the member for Laurentides for giving us the opportunity to have the debate. I regret that it is only a debate. It should be a vote. It could have been an important first step to introduce an element of fairness into the working conditions in the Canadian workforce which we forgot to do, we neglected to do. No, we did not forget to do it: we chose not to be fair in this case and it is to our great shame.

    We are given the opportunity to fix that today. Some members of the House are speaking against remedying that. I suppose they will have to defend their stance and be judged in some higher place than this.

    In closing I would say that in other areas of legislation, in other contracts and in other legal documents, there are things called non-derogation clauses. In other words, nothing in the work we are doing today should erode what the person currently enjoys. Not having an amendment like that in Bill C-340 has the same effect as derogating the terms and conditions of employment that Quebec women currently enjoy. By going into the federal civil service or any federally regulated jurisdiction, they will diminish the rights that have already been created in their home province. We have an obligation to respect, acknowledge and allow people in Quebec to have those rights that they have earned.

  +-(1335)  

+-

    Mr. Norman Doyle (St. John's East, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased on behalf of our party to have a few words to say on Bill C-340, which proposes an amendment to section 132 of the Canada Labour Code. Section 132 of the Canada Labour Code was an item we dealt with in the House a year or so ago when there was a major revision or updating of the Canada Labour Code. It deals with the right of a pregnant worker or a nursing mother at work to remove herself from a hazardous situation in the workplace.

    It is very difficult to understand how anyone could vote against the bill, against motherhood. It is not a votable motion, but to speak against this kind of bill is absolutely mind-boggling.

    It allows for a woman in such a position to be transferred to a safer position in the workplace and sets out the terms and conditions under which she might obtain fair compensation if she had to withdraw from a very hazardous situation in the workplace.

    Obviously it is only fair and compassionate to err on the side of safety when it comes to the health of an unborn infant or a newborn infant who is still nursing. Radiation or chemical pollutants that may be in doses acceptable to an adult may cause very severe harm to and problems for a child in the womb or a newborn infant still dependent upon the mother's milk.

    As a strong supporter of life and family issues, I therefore have no hesitation in supporting section 132 in that it provides a woman with options other than quitting her employment.

    However, Bill C-340 takes the issue a step further in that it makes provision for a woman covered in section 132 to apply for provincial benefits instead of the relevant federal benefits. That would obviously be beneficial to the woman in the case where provincial benefits are better for the woman or more generous than those that may be offered through federal legislation under section 132.

    Bill C-340 is sponsored by a Quebec member and it is no secret that Quebec has some of the most progressive and generous family benefits in the western world. Being a supporter of these benefits I would agree with a provision that provides a pregnant woman or a nursing mother with the best possible package of benefits if she has to withdraw from a hazardous situation in the workplace.

    Proposed subsection 132.1(2) would allow a woman to apply for provincial benefits and also indicates that the relevant provincial agency may refuse the application, in other words, opting for provincial benefits is certainly not automatic but the right to apply would be guaranteed. Proposed subsection 132.1(3) would guarantee that the application must be processed by the provincial authority under normal rules.

    Proposed subsection 132.1(4) reaffirms the right of a female worker to avail herself of provincial benefits and remedies if she is approved for them by the relevant provincial authority.

    Proposed subsection 132.1(5) allows for the establishment of federal-provincial agreements to regularize the terms and conditions wherein a female worker under federal jurisdiction could opt for provincial benefits. That is standard practice in a federal state. Such agreements allow for the seamless application of rights gained at the federal level but delivered at the provincial level.

    Finally, proposed subsection 132.1(6) allows for the exercise of provincial benefits under section 132 without prejudice to any other rights and responsibilities under the Canada Labour Code.

  +-(1340)  

    In short, Bill C-340 would allow a female employee to have access to the most generous package available for the protection of her unborn or recently born child. We in the PC Party have no hesitation in supporting the bill.

  +-(1345)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Antoine Dubé (Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak to Bill C-340, as moved by the hon. member for Laurentides. She had no difficulty at all securing my support for her bill.

    I think it is a matter of pure common sense. We in Quebec believe it is about common sense, because for several years now, all women in this province, except those under federal jurisdiction, are covered by a loss of income program with respect to precautionary cessation of work or nursing in situations that may be dangerous to their own health or that of the child.

    I thought this was self-evident. I was a little surprised the first time the hon. member mentioned this to me, saying it did not apply, because there was no legislation allowing it.

    I have listened to the hon. members from the various parties in the House and was especially pleased to hear the Alliance member say that he will support the bill, even though he asked several questions. I gather my colleague will answer at least part of these questions, with the exception possibly of those requiring specific amounts, but we will see. I know she studied the matter very extensively.

    I sensed agreement in principle in my colleague from the Canadian Alliance, and I am delighted with it, as well as with the support of the representatives of the other parties, including the NDP and the Progressive Conservative Party/Democratic Representative Caucus Coalition.

    As for my colleague from the Liberal Party, who is of course entitled to speak in this House, he spoke on behalf of the government. We have heard his arguments. As far as prudence is concerned, the need for caution, because other provinces do not apply a measure similar to Quebec's as far as preventive withdrawal, I would like to take a few minutes to say that I am a bit astonished by this position.

    In Quebec, even where areas of Quebec jurisdiction are involved, we find, and complain very regularly here about it, that the federal government is invading areas of jurisdiction that are exclusive to the provinces. In this case, it is not a matter of invading a jurisdiction, but allowing the provinces to solve a problem. I think that the federal government has a duty to set an example to the provinces, not in the sense of obliging them to action, but at least to removing constraints.

    I hope to convince my colleague, who spoke on behalf of the government, that this is a premature measure. The hon. member for Laurentides reminded the House that this was the case for this bill, as did other colleagues who spoke to the amendments to measures contained in other bills. Each time, it was greeted with interest. But in the end, it never translated into any real legislation.

    Given this fact, the member for Laurentides—and I would like to congratulate her—proposed a bill to provide the government with an opportunity to take action on the issue, because it had been forgotten, even though this measure seemed acceptable to many government members.

    As we know, the standing orders were changed regarding the designation of certain bills as votable or non-votable. This bill was not designated votable, which is a real shame.

    I know that the member for Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, a young member of this House, has often said that parliament must not only be a place where people speak, it should also be a place where people are consulted, and where people make decisions.

  +-(1350)  

    I know that he would agree with me when I say that, despite the member for Laurentides' wonderful initiative, the time we spend here discussing this bill, if we follow the logic or the rules of the House, is just that: time to debate it.

    Indeed, the government does give us a lot of time to debate, but not very much time to decide, and seldom the opportunity to vote. It is all fine and dandy to debate, but we hardly ever get to decide or vote anymore.

    When I explain this to my constituents, they tell me that they thought our role was more important than that. They also tell us “We are confident in your power of persuasion, and in that of a number of your colleagues, and we hope that through it, things will change”. That is why we talk, because we hope to be able to change things.

    My message to the government representative is as follows. I know him somewhat and I know that his ideas are usually open. He is known to be interested in social issues in his riding. It was surely with no great pleasure that he agreed to read a speech prepared by the officials of the Department of Transport, probably. I trust that he could change his mind and help the government change its mind too, so that, in the future at least, this parliament is not just a platform for private members' business.

    Members take time to formulate a bill and to draft it, with the help of the legal advisors here. They consult their community and experts in a given field, as the member for Laurentides did, and so this should be a votable item.

    I would appreciate it if it could be. In the minute I have left, I seek the unanimous consent of the House to have this bill, which seems to be positively received by everyone, made votable. If we could vote, it could go to committee, witnesses would be heard and all questions could be answered, including those of the Alliance member, who wants more detailed information. At second reading, after an agreement in principle, he could vote for it or against it.

    I therefore request unanimous consent to have Bill C-340 introduced by the member for Laurentides made votable.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

+-

    Ms. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I have just a few minutes left. It is a very short time and it is also sad because ultimately this debate will not take place.

    However, I wish to thank the members of the other parties and of the Canadian Alliance, which showed an open-mindedness I was not expecting. I congratulate the members of this party. It was very important for me to have the opportunity to debate this bill. I congratulate the members of the New Democratic Party, and my Progressive Conservative colleagues, who showed themselves to be very open-minded as well.

    Some of the things that have been said by the government in this House are incredible. When we are told that this concerns only 10% of Canadian women, that is already too many. It is unbelievable that we would be told something so ridiculous, that it is not serious because only 10% of the population is affected. It is time to wake up and smell the coffee.

    The government approves legislation, and talks about progressive legislation and being open-minded. It is approving bills to legalize marijuana, but it cannot allow women to remain healthy through a pregnancy, to give birth to a healthy child and to ensure that that child will enter the world without harm to itself or its mother.

    I even saw a female member opposite object to having this bill made a votable item. This is incredible. I cannot believe it. I cannot believe that the government would engage in petty politics, in cheap partisan politics when dealing with such an important bill.

    The hon. member asked questions and I will reply to him in writing. I will not give up on this bill. I can assure members of this House that this issue will be brought back. Pressure will be put on the government, because there are young women who want healthy children. There are young women working in the prison system who are fed up with having to go to court to say that their work endangers their pregnancy.

    It does not make sense for a pregnant woman working in the jail system to be followed by a family doctor from the beginning of her pregnancy only to be told by a doctor from Health Canada, a doctor who does not even know her and is not familiar with her file, “No you are not entitled to preventive withdrawal”. It is unacceptable that such a situation still exists in 2001.

    I was asked if there were costs associated with this measure. Costs are not an issue when it comes to giving birth to a healthy child, to ensuring a normal birth. They are not an issue when it comes to the health of the mother who must raise her child for the rest of her life.

    I can assure hon. members that we will bring this issue back in the House. The government will only have itself to blame. It was up to the Liberals to agree to make this bill a votable item and to accept the amendments that I proposed regarding Bill C-12. We worked really hard for days to amend the bill and also to follow up on the government's requests. We compromised on a lot of things, but we will never compromise when it comes to ensuring that women can give birth to healthy children. Costs are not an issue when it comes to that.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): The time provided for the consideration of private members' business has now expired. As the motion has not been designated as a votable item, the order is dropped from the order paper.


+-STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[S. O. 31]

*   *   *

  +-(1355)  

[English]

+-Veterans Week

+-

    Mr. Janko Peric (Cambridge, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is the one week of the year that all of us from every party and political persuasion stand and declare a common cause by performing a simple act: the wearing of the scarlet poppy in honour of our fallen veterans, in honour of the 69,000 Canadians slain in the first world war, the 47,000 slain in the second world war and the 516 slain in Korea.

    As hon. members know, the theme of this year's Veterans Week is “In the Service of Peace” and so we must also speak of our peacekeeping veterans. In the past we have sent them, often unarmed and outnumbered, to serve the cause of peace. Danger and death were never very far away. A hundred and thirteen peacekeepers have paid the ultimate sacrifice, yet Canadians continue to serve the world over with much deserved pride and distinction.

    Today we thank those who served the cause of peace with such honour throughout our history from the bottom of our hearts.

*   *   *

+-Softwood Lumber

+-

    Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, softwood lumber duties are hurting the people of Yellowhead. Thousands of people in my riding work in lumber mills, logging, trucking and supportive industries. They live in places like Edson, Hinton, Whitecourt and Drayton Valley, just to name a few.

    As Jeffrey Simpson put it today, softwood lumber is the spine of dozens of communities. They very seldom get on the evening news or the front pages of urban papers.

    The federal government should have been more forward looking and aggressive on this issue. If it had been a central Canadian industry like the automobile industry or the aerospace industry, we would have witnessed a much stronger response by the government.

    Winter is coming and thousands of workers in my riding are facing the prospect of unemployment. Their families and the communities in which they live will also suffer. The government needs to show the softwood lumber industry the same interest, care and intensity as it has for other Canadian industries.

*   *   *

  +-(1400)  

+-Prayer for Peace

+-

    Mr. Bill Graham (Toronto Centre--Rosedale, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, last Sunday Bill Wilson, a member of our congregation, offered the following prayer that I would like to share with the House. It expresses the thoughts of many Canadians:

Today we pray for the men and women of our armed services as Canada becomes actively involved in the conflict in Afghanistan. We pray also that as Christian people we might hear and consider the words of the leaders of our churches that this crisis is not a war between the Christian and Moslem religions. Grant to our political leaders the wisdom to pursue justice not revenge in the knowledge that no cause is served by violence against the innocent. We pray for all who have become the tragic victims of acts of war and for their families and loved ones. Bring in the day, merciful God, when innocent lives will no longer be sacrificed on the altars of revenge, ethnic cleansing and religious fanaticism.

O Lord, our helper and defender, rescue the people of the world from destructive anger and set us free to live in peace and serve each other in a world in which the evils of the past shall have been overcome.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Asbestos Region Hospital Centre

+-

    Mr. Gérard Binet (Frontenac--Mégantic, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, today I would like to draw to the attention of the House a wonderful example of volunteerism in the riding of Frontenac--Mégantic.

    Thanks to the dedication of two great volunteers in particular, the foundation's president, Henri Therrien, and the honorary president of the fundraising campaign, Donat Grenier, the Fondation of the Asbestos region hospital centre, or Centre hospitalier de la région de l'Amiante, has not only attained its fundraising objective, it has raised more than double that amount.

    With the co-operation and generosity of all the people of the asbestos region, these dedicated gentlemen have raised an incredible $2,174,536. This money is earmarked for the continuing development of the CHRA, the delivery of care to the people of the region, recruiting specialists, and acquiring nuclear medicine equipment. As a result, our reputation as one of the best equipped regional hospitals in Quebec will be maintained.

    This is a great example of courage and generosity in a region that takes everyone's health to heart. In our region, the slogan is “I give to the local hospital, and some day it will give back to me”.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Firefighters

+-

    Mrs. Karen Kraft Sloan (York North, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I offer my most heartfelt congratulations to the York North firefighters on receiving the Governor General's Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal: Greg Lockie, Carl Sarasin, Rick Walker, Roger Kett, Ken Bellar, Bill O'Neill, Bill Marritt, Dave Harding, John Rush, Dean Sinclair, George Egerton, Gord Rolling, Antony Caruso, Ken Foster, Joe Kearns, Terry Foster, George Green, Doug Thompson, Ted Wernham, Ken Beckert, Arnold Smith, Russel Foster and John Moffatt.

    I thank them very much for their outstanding commitment to their communities and to their fellow citizens.

*   *   *

+-Illicit Drugs

+-

    Mr. Philip Mayfield (Cariboo--Chilcotin, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the use of the dangerous drug Ecstasy has become all too common among young people today. The drug is more dangerous than previously thought. Its effects on the brain are cumulative, causing depression, problems with memory and sleep, and symptoms that reoccur spontaneously in later years.

    Since 1998 five B.C. youths died from Ecstasy overdoses. Tragically two more youths died in October from an apparent deadly batch of Ecstasy.

    In 1990 Prime Minister Mulroney signed the UN convention to regulate the sale of chemicals used to make such designer drugs. The Liberal government has been dragging its feet now for years refusing to put in place the legislation necessary to control the sale of Ecstasy's chemical ingredients. The Prime Minister has yet to honour this treaty commitment.

    Without the laws necessary to regulate and prosecute the manufacture and traffic of designer drugs our police cannot stop their use. Canadian municipalities are spending millions of dollars in the struggle to fight these illicit drugs.

    How many of our youths will die waiting for the government to act? The government owes it to Canadian youth to act now.

*   *   *

+-Centrinity Inc.

+-

    Mr. Bryon Wilfert (Oak Ridges, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Maclean's magazine has just come out with an article featuring the top 100 Canadian employers. One of them is Centrinity Inc. in my riding.

    Centrinity is a global leader in next generation communication platforms for enterprises, educational institutions and government agencies. Headquartered in Richmond Hill, the company also has offices in Sweden, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

    Since its inception in 1989 Centrinity has been committed to developing future proof and cost effective technology that enables its customers and partners to break free of traditional communication barriers and work on their own terms. Its technology links user's phone, fax and e-mail enabling it to increase its productivity, break free of information overload and minimize costs by accessing its information via any device anytime, anywhere.

    I congratulate Centrinity on its significant achievement and the 180 employees, officers and board of directors on their contributions to making their company a top Canadian employer.

*   *   *

  +-(1405)  

[Translation]

+-Airline Industry

+-

    Mr. Stéphan Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay, BQ): Mr. Speaker, after employment insurance, the federal government has simply decided to dump all of the seasonal workers in our regions. Now the Minister of Transport is jumping on the same bandwagon.

    Last week, he clearly announced that he did not plan to be providing any assistance to regional air carriers. Yet the assistance that has gone to the major carriers will help out their regional subsidiaries, which are in competition with the small regional carriers.

    Unfortunately, the latter have been greatly affected by the economic downturn experienced since September 11. In my riding, for example, Air Alma is one of the companies overlooked in the Minister of Transport's assistance plan. Yet Air Alma makes a vital contribution to the development of the Saguenay--Lac-Saint-Jean area.

    The way the federal government has handled employment insurance and the regional air carriers are two clear indications of how it is abandoning the regions.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Sports

+-

    Ms. Beth Phinney (Hamilton Mountain, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, last Friday in Hamilton the Minister of Canadian Heritage, together with Sue Hylland, executive director of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity, announced that the Government of Canada would provide $200,000 for two sport and physical activity initiatives for Canadian women.

    The Government of Canada will provide $150,000 for the development of a Canadian strategy for girls and women through physical activity and sport. The other $50,000 will support a national conference on women, sport and physical activity to be held in Hamilton in November 2002.

[Translation]

    These two Canadian initiatives will be part of an upcoming world conference on women in sport, which will take place in Montreal, from May 16 to 19, 2002.

[English]

    These initiatives will demonstrate Canada's ongoing leadership in the area of women and sport at home and abroad.

*   *   *

+-Veterans Week

+-

    Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, this week is Veterans Week which leads up to Remembrance Day, a time for us to focus on honouring all of those who served Canada in war so that we may have peace.

    Canadians have always been quick to answer the call to defend freedom and democracy. The cost has been thousands of lives lost and even more injured or mentally scarred for life.

    We owe it to them to remember every day that we are living and working in a peaceful, democratic society because our men and women were and still are willing to risk their lives and their futures to make it so.

    This is a remarkable country. We are so fortunate to be Canadian. We owe all of this to our military and those who have served to defend it. This year I would ask everyone who knows a veteran or a Canadian forces member to make sure to thank them for our freedom. Their sacrifices are not something to be taken for granted. Lest we forget.

*   *   *

+-National Defence

+-

    Mr. David Pratt (Nepean--Carleton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, to soldiers the comfort and functionality of the kit they wear are absolutely critical to the performance of their duties.

    A great deal of time, effort and research has been devoted to providing our soldiers with the very best in clothing and personal kits through the clothe the soldier program. This important program consists of 24 compatible items of protective clothing and personal equipment. Designed with leading edge technology, the clothing will greatly enhance the operational effectiveness and protection for the men and women of the Canadian forces.

    As chair of the defence committee I am pleased to invite all members of the House to join our committee in room 253-D, Centre Block, this afternoon immediately following the three o'clock votes to see the new uniforms of our Canadian forces. Between 3 and 3.30 p.m. four members of our Canadian forces will be present to demonstrate the new kit and answer any questions members may have.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Jean-François Breau

+-

    Mr. Yvon Godin (Acadie--Bathurst, NDP): Mr. Speaker, on October 31, Jean-François Breau, a resident of my constituency of Acadie—Bathurst, launched his first album of songs in Montreal.

    Jean-François Breau, who is 23, developed his love of music in 1997. Since then, he has taken part in a number of competitions, including the Gala de la chanson de Caraquet and the Festival international de la chanson de Granby, where he was a prize winner in 1998.

    In 1999, Jean-François performed on stage during the Francophone Summit, which took place in Moncton, New Brunswick.

    Jean-François has starred on stage both in Canada and abroad, having played the role of Gringoire in “Notre-Dame de Paris” in Montreal, Las Vegas and Lebanon.

    This fantastic self-titled album contains 14 tracks, six of which he wrote himself.

    As the member of parliament for Acadie—Bathurst, I am proud that we have Jean-François Breau as an ambassador.

*   *   *

  +-(1410)  

+-Financial Services

+-

    Mr. Réal Ménard (Hochelaga--Maisonneuve, BQ): Mr. Speaker, by 2002, there will only be five banks and two caisses populaires left in the neighbourhood of Hochelaga—Maisonneuve; 20 years ago, there were 28 combined.

    For this reason, I organized a meeting in my riding on October 15, in conjunction with the Table de concertation du troisième âge, the CLSC Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, Option consommateurs and Le Collectif en aménagement urbain.

    A great many residents of the neighbourhood came to discuss their problems in accessing financial services. Ten resolutions were passed at the meeting in order to improve access to local financial services, including the banks support for community reinvestment.

    Representatives from the Mouvement Desjardins were quick to express their intent to take the resolutions into account. This is a fine example of the effectiveness of concrete efforts of local elected officials, public or private institutions, community groups and ordinary residents to make real improvements to the community's welfare on an everyday basis.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Remembrance Day

+-

    Mrs. Rose-Marie Ur (Lambton--Kent--Middlesex, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this coming Sunday is Remembrance Day. Each year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month Canadians take a moment to remember those who fought and defended Canada in many battles to ensure our security and freedom.

    We remember the battles in World War I, World War II, the Korean and gulf wars, and countless other battles and peacekeeping missions in which our military and navy personnel took part. Our veterans fought to ensure our protection and liberty. This came at a cost of thousands of lives in the process.

    This Remembrance Day is especially meaningful as our troops prepare and leave to join the war in Afghanistan to ensure once again our freedom and security.

    In the wake of the attacks on the United States we are reminded of how important our military and navy personnel are during these times. It is important to recognize the efforts of veterans who fought in past wars and to take a moment to reflect on how their hard work has improved the quality of life of all Canadians.

    That is why we stop on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to remember the cost of freedom and to honour those who have paid the price.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Down Syndrome

+-

    Mr. André Bachand (Richmond--Arthabaska, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the last day of the 2001 Down Syndrome Awareness Week.

    Each year, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, in co-operation with its affiliates in every part of the country, organizes a series of public awareness events to make people aware of the plight of those who suffer from this chromosomal disorder.

    If some day we want to eliminate the biases relating to this syndrome which, for a long time, was not properly understood, we must support these awareness campaigns and stress the contribution that individuals with Down syndrome make to their community.

    We are very appreciative of the efforts of the organizers of this event and, on behalf of all the members of this House, I thank them for their dedication.

    I also congratulate them for the 2001 awareness week, and I wish them success in the years to come.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Teknion Corporation

+-

    Ms. Judy Sgro (York West, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Teknion Corporation, a company in my riding of York West. Teknion is an international leader in the design and manufacture of office systems and furniture. On September 24 Teknion was bestowed with the prestigious exporter of the year award.

    Teknion has become a true Canadian success story. It leads the contract office furniture industry in almost every performance measurement and its annual sales growth more than quadruples the industry average.

    One in every three jobs in Canada depends on trade with other countries and Teknion's outstanding achievement is an indicator of its enormous contribution to the Canadian economy.

    Teknion's dedication to people and partnerships has proven an unbeatable strategy in the international marketplace. I ask fellow colleagues to join me in recognizing Teknion's commitment to excellence.

*   *   *

+-Supplementary Estimates

+-

    Mr. John Williams (St. Albert, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the supplementary estimates were tabled last Thursday and the government wants to spend more and more and still more. In fact it wants to spend $7 billion more.

    Where is it going?

    There is $225 million going to Canada Customs and Revenue Agency to pursue revenue generation. That is code for squeezing taxpayers until they squeak.

    There is $2.5 million going to Communications Canada, the propaganda machine of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services who was reported in the paper yesterday to have given contracts to all his friends. Now we know why he needs a propaganda machine.

    Another $114 million will go to the gun registration program. Members will recall it was only supposed to cost $85 million in total.

    Finally, another $9.7 million will go to celebrate the millennium. That was two years ago and we are still paying taxpayer money on a celebration that went bust.


+-ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

[Oral Questions]

*   *   *

  +-(1415)  

[English]

+-Softwood Lumber

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, for months before April 1 when the softwood lumber agreement was coming to an end, we warned the government there would be thousands of jobs lost. It had no position. A month ago in the area of linking softwood lumber to the oil and gas issue, the government said it did not have a position on linkage. Yesterday the Prime Minister sounded tough here and said there was linkage between oil and gas and maybe the Americans could just burn wood.

    I would like to ask the Prime Minister this. What is the position of the government today? Is it the same as yesterday? Will he do something to communicate that position to the president and to the oil and gas industry whose taps he is going to shut off?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have free trade. We signed a free trade agreement with the United States which was approved by the House of Commons. The free trade agreement was not only about oil and gas. It was about wood too. That is what I tell the Americans all the time. It is what the minister said to Mr. Racicot at lunch, and that is what I will tell him when I meet him later today.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, it would be disastrous to cut our energy exports to the U.S. We should, however, ensure that the softwood lumber problem is settled before considering a new energy pact. We know that the Americans want a new Canada-U.S.-Mexico energy pact.

    Is the Prime Minister going to tell President Bush that he will not negotiate a new North American energy pact before obtaining a softwood agreement?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are not in the process of negotiating an energy pact with the United States and Mexico. At the present time, we have a free trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. This includes energy as well as softwood lumber. That is exactly what we are saying today, what we said this past spring, and what I tell the President every time I talk to him by phone or in person.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, in fact that is not what he said yesterday and it is not what he said a month ago.

    Maybe the Prime Minister would be taken more seriously in Washington on the softwood lumber issue, if he would get very serious and very specific on the issue of our border, on the issue of joint immigration standards, on the issue of joint visas and on the issue of detaining, deporting and extraditing fraud refugee claimants. The Prime Minister refuses to be specific and he refuses to be strong.

    Will he communicate these specifics to the president and let him know that we are serious about a common secure border to protect our citizens and our trade with the United States?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is exactly what we are doing at this time. We have passed the legislation on immigration and it received royal assent a few days ago. It is always part of the discussions we are having with the Americans.

    I said and I will repeat, listening to the Leader of the Opposition it seems that he is already willing to have the Americans running everything in Canada and that is not what this side of the House wants to do.

*   *   *

+-National Security

+-

    Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, last week we asked the government to take even the most modest of steps to assure Canadians and Americans on the issue of continental security. Yesterday at a meeting with a U.S. congressman a practical suggestion came up and I would like to propose it to the government.

    The suggestion was that we have a harmonized list of countries where both the U.S. and Canada would look for visas. Would the government look at that very practical suggestion and accept something that would improve continental security? Yes or no.

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, our information on the subject is always available to the Americans when they need it and they give us the information we need too. We have done that for a long time. They recognize that they have great collaboration between the different departments of Canada and the American departments because we have the same interest. We do not want terrorists either in Canada or in the United States.

  +-(1420)  

+-

    Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, how are these real concerns about Canada-U.S. security treated by this government? The foreign affairs minister in fact tries to blame the media for the concerns and then he takes a fictional program The West Wing and says it is responsible for this unusual reaction in the U.S.

    The government has not acted on combined passenger lists. It has not acted on combined visas. It has not acted on detaining bogus refugees. I would like to know what exactly has it acted on?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, is that not pathetic? If we are not trying to fight the perceptions that exist which are wrong in the United States, how will we ever build our case for what is right about the Canada-U.S. relationship?

    It is time to say to important decision makers in the United States that there are some urban legends out there, I must say some of which have been perpetuated by the opposition, that are simply wrong. We have an important economic relationship and the work that we have going on with the U.S. administration will make things better for both of our economies.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Softwood Lumber

+-

    Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier--Sainte-Marie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the government stepped things up a notch yesterday in preparation for the continuation of discussions on softwood lumber. The Minister of International Trade promised to tell President Bush's envoy exactly where we stand on this issue.

    The Prime Minister promised to telephone the U.S. president and remind him that free trade had to apply to lumber too.

    On the subject of notches, at his meeting today, did the Minister of International Trade get out his big stick and make it very clear to the Americans that their protectionism is creating a lot of annoyance in Quebec and Canada? Otherwise, will the Prime Minister deliver this message to President Bush?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I thank the leader of the Bloc Quebecois for giving me an opportunity to inform the House about the lunch I had with Mr. Racicot yesterday at the home of the U.S. ambassador.

    I can assure you that what we have said here and what will be said, I feel, during the emergency debate we will be having a little later, have been expressed directly and very clearly to Mr. Racicot.

    Mr. Racicot appeared to be a man who listened, who is honest, who wants to understand the issue and who has the mandate from his president—a positive signal—to find a way to come up with a long term solution in this issue, which has been going on for years.

+-

    Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier--Sainte-Marie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, in August, I toured Quebec, and, in the various regions, there was strong resentment against the Americans over what they were preparing to do in connection with softwood lumber.

    Since they have taken the measures, the mood of Quebecers has not improved.

    Will the government finally decide to run a campaign in Canada, Quebec and the United States against American protectionism, in other words, an advertising campaign to show Americans that we will not accept this decision and to convince American consumers that it is in their interest to return to total free trade?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the best way to resolve the problem is to speak directly and firmly with the Americans.

    I am sure they understand our problem and there are administrative difficulties. We realize the American system may be different from ours. The President appears to have less direct influence over things than the Canadian government.

    In any case, I am very confident that, in the end, we will reach an agreement or find an appropriate solution to the problem.

+-

    Mr. Pierre Paquette (Joliette, BQ): Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Minister for International Trade said yesterday, many stakeholders, including the Free Trade Lumber Council and the Canadian Lumber Remanufacturers Alliance, and not just two or three stakeholders as he said, are calling for a summit meeting.

    In the wake of last week's events, and now that the Minister for International Trade has met with the U.S. trade envoy, would he not finally agree that a meeting of all stakeholders in the softwood lumber industry is called for?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are in constant close communication with the industry in all regions of the country. We are working closely with it. We are involved in discussions with the United States, to which provincial governments, which are also at the table, are contributing, because they are the ones with responsibility for sorting out natural resources problems and for managing practices.

    I can assure the House of one thing and that is that, starting November 12, other agreements will be reached. We are fully committed along with the entire industry, and we are making progress on this issue.

  +-(1425)  

+-

    Mr. Pierre Paquette (Joliette, BQ): Mr. Speaker, so far, the talks, which will continue in Washington on November 12, have all been one way. The provinces have made proposals concerning their forestry management system. But the periodic shortages of softwood lumber in the United States are the crux of the problem.

    Will the minister ensure that future discussions will also address U.S. practices?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it so happens that at noon today, we had an opportunity to tell Mr. Racicot that it is very important that we have a better understanding of what Americans expect in a long-term solution.

    For the time being, it is true that we have looked at what could be done in terms of provincial practices, especially in British Columbia and in Quebec. Alberta and Ontario are doing likewise.

    But it is vital that we also know what the United States expects, so that we can finally have free trade for softwood lumber.

[English]

+-

    Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the trade minister as well. The softwood lumber crisis has already cost 16,000 jobs in British Columbia alone. Today Tembec has announced the second mill closing in a week.

    The trade minister rants and raves a lot, he shakes his hair a lot, but the question is whether the government is prepared to back its rhetoric with action. Is this trade minister prepared to pull our energy trade from the table and turn out the lights in California?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I do not like these sexist statements. Indeed the minister has been working extremely well for a long time to make sure that we find an adequate solution to this problem.

+-

    Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP): Mr. Speaker, if I had a head of hair like that I would shake it a lot too. Let me say, on a very serious note, that Americans are playing games with Canada, games in which the rules change to suit their needs. Canadians want to know whether the Prime Minister is playing games.

    Let the Prime Minister today clarify his comments. Is he really ready this winter to pull our energy trade and let the Americans burn wood?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, some do not have long hair and shake a lot, as is the case with the leader of the Conservative Party, who will be up soon.

    I just want to say that I made it clear in the House of Commons that when we signed the free trade agreement, it was not a partial free trade agreement that was signed with them. It was a free trade agreement where in part we were able to sell softwood lumber to the United States. That is what we want to do and what we will achieve--

+-

    The Speaker: The right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

+-

    Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, my question is about the Prime Minister's deliberate linkage of the softwood lumber issue with oil and gas exports. When he made that same threat last August, he triggered fears about a new national energy program which of course the Prime Minister supported so very vigorously when it was imposed upon western Canada.

    The trade minister has yet another softwood meeting today with yet another American official. If this fails too, will the Prime Minister personally get on his government airplane tomorrow and take Canada's case on softwood lumber directly to President Bush?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, some said GI Joe. I have talked regularly with the president. I do not think grandstanding will be the system that will work. We are a serious government. We are acting seriously.

    I am very surprised that, with the experience of the leader of the fifth party, he would think that grandstanding will lead us somewhere. That is what they did when they were the government and look at the results.

  +-(1430)  

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, whatever it is the Prime Minister is doing it is not working. The U.S. president has appointed a special envoy on softwood lumber and he is here today to drive home the American position. He says he wants things resolved by Christmastime.

    The Canadian government could learn a little from this process. It is called trade negotiations 101. We take an issue and make it a top priority, put a deadline on when it should be resolved and then spend time, lots of time, at the highest level until it is resolved to Canada's satisfaction.

    When will the Prime Minister get on his government plane, meet directly with the president of the United States and resolve this thing to Canada's satisfaction?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is the top priority of the government. We have made that very clear. We are working hard at it.

    I spent the time this weekend speaking with a number of chief executive officers of softwood lumber companies from British Columbia. They told me that the Prime Minister has been more active on the file than any prime minister in the past 20 years.

    I thank him in the name of communities in British Columbia and in the rest of the country. The Prime Minister has been more active than any prime minister in the last 20 years. We must thank him for that and for the communities that he has assisted.

+-

    Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister talks about not wanting the Americans running everything in Canada. If the Prime Minister continues to display a lack of leadership that is exactly what happens.

    Yesterday the Prime Minister said the 1996 softwood lumber agreement worked for five years. It worked all right. It worked against us. We had companies with quota and without quota, loss of investment, job loss, and the Americans continue to attack our value added products to reclassify them as softwood lumber.

    If the Prime Minister thinks that was a good agreement, what is a bad agreement?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is very nice. Now opposition members are blaming us for letting the agreement extend on March 31 and not renewing it. Then they tell us that we should have continued it, or the other way around.

    They continually change their tune. Sometimes they tell us to do the linkage with energy. Sometimes they tell us not to link it. Sometimes they tell us to link it with our commitment to fight Osama bin Laden and sometimes they tell us the other way around. They have to make up their minds in the opposition and determine what is the real line of business they want on softwood lumber.

+-

    Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Canadian Alliance): That just goes to prove, Mr. Speaker, that they can create statements that have never been said. The government has abdicated responsibility and displayed lack of leadership on the softwood lumber talks.

    Last week after the anti-dumping announcement everyone fully expected the Prime Minister to engage himself with the U.S. president on softwood lumber. It did not happen. It still has not happened. When will the Prime Minister treat softwood lumber as an urgent priority?

+-

    Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is an urgent priority. As I have said and I want to repeat, I talk with the president regularly. I met him in China the other day and I talked with him. That is when I made the statement: “You want our oil and gas and we want to keep selling wood to you”. He agreed that it was the right thing to do.

    We keep talking with them. There will be another discussion this week with him. As I said, at the moment there is an ongoing process in the United States that is very frustrating for us. We are telling them that all the time.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-The Economy

+-

    Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance tells us that he does not want to return to the era of deficits. We agree with him and we even proposed an antideficit bill, which he opposed, incidentally.

    Will he admit that the plan to use the surplus that we proposed to him could stimulate employment and economic growth without causing any deficit?

+-

    Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the member made suggestions. We will take all perspectives into consideration when we bring down the budget.

+-

    Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot, BQ): Mr. Speaker, in his next budget, is the minister considering using $5 billion of the expected $13 billion surplus for the current fiscal year to stimulate economic growth and employment?

    The Minister of Finance has two choices: first, stimulating employment and economic growth, and preventing the Canadian economy from sliding further into recession; or second, doing nothing and applying all of the unexpected surplus, which is significant every year, to the debt.

  +-(1435)  

+-

    Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government's position is very clear. One has only to look at what we have done. We have stimulated the economy to the tune of more than $25 billion. This year, Canada has allocated over 2% to economic stimulation. Compared to the Americans, even Mr. Bush's plan will not exceed 1.5%. So, we will continue in this vein. We will create jobs. We will create a brighter future for our youth.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Anti-Terrorism Legislation

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, numerous witnesses have advised the justice committee that the anti-terrorism legislation unfortunately targets minority groups in this country. The privacy commissioner has also noted that the draconian powers in the legislation prevent the disclosure of any government information.

    Why will the minister not admit that despite her best intentions she has overstepped the bounds of what is needed for Canadian security?

+-

    Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have said before in the House, I respect the hon. member's views and those of some of whom have appeared before committee. I think both the assertions he has just made are not accurate. It is unfortunate that he would promulgate that incorrect impression of what the anti-terrorism legislation is directed at.

    As I have made plain time and time again, we are targeting terrorist activity. We are targeting terrorist organizations and those who would support terror.

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, these are the comments of distinguished witnesses and the privacy commissioner. Canadians are concerned about the failure of the minister to include an effective ongoing review process in the anti-terrorism legislation.

    This failure, along with the minister's power to suppress all government information, results in the loss of accountability of ministers to parliament and to Canadians. Why does the minister insist that ministerial accountability to parliament must also be a victim of September 11?

+-

    Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, again let me suggest that the statement by the hon. member is inaccurate. There is a review mechanism in the legislation. In fact a wholesale review of the legislation can be held at the end of a three year period.

    I have also indicated to everyone in the House that I am listening intently to that which the Senate committee has reported and to that which the House committee will report in the coming days. I will return to committee in the coming days. I look forward to a fulsome discussion around the appropriate review mechanisms to ensure the legislation is effective for everyone.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister recently told the House that Canada would not give a blank cheque to the Americans regarding the bombings in Afghanistan.

    What we pointed out last week has now been confirmed: some children have fallen victim to cluster bombs that fell on the ground without exploding.

    Does the Prime Minister not realize that we must not wait until other children fall victim to these bombs before taking action to stop using such weapons?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this has been the same question for several days. I am afraid the answer must be the same. Every effort is made to avoid children, to avoid innocent civilians.

    There are innocent people in any conflict who become victims, most unfortunately, but every effort is being made by the United States and the allies that are a part of the coalition to avoid civilians, to stay away from civilian populations, and to target only military installations and military personnel.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ): Mr. Speaker, voices are being raised everywhere condemning these cluster bombs, both in coalition countries and elsewhere.

    The use of these bombs is particularly despicable at this time, as famine has gripped the country and winter is fast approaching.

    This is why I am asking the government if it will promote the establishment of a humanitarian corridor in Afghanistan to provide medical care and food, as recommended, among others, by the chair of the Canadian chapter of Médecins du Monde, Dr. Réjean Thomas?

  +-(1440)  

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Certainly, Mr. Speaker. We will do our utmost to support the humanitarian effort in Afghanistan. This is an important contribution that Canada must make, in addition to its contribution to the coalition.

    We have equipment that can be useful to the humanitarian effort. This is a top concern for Canada.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Immigration

+-

    Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster--Coquitlam--Burnaby, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the immigration minister. The government refuses to automatically detain claimants who show up with no documents. Internal communications of Immigration Canada reveal that 60% of refugee claimants show up without papers.

    Her officials warned the minister over a year ago that this was a criminal and security risk and that it was critical to stop this practice, but she ignored them. Why does the minister ignore the facts and advice of her own immigration officials about security?

+-

    Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the information the member suggested in his question is not accurate. I am not aware of any report. If he has one, I would ask him to table it because I would like to see it too.

    The information I have from my officials is that often people who show up undocumented do so because they flee from a country that does not produce documentation, or if they had stopped to get documentation they might have ended up in jail.

    Whenever we have a concern about anyone who shows up undocumented at our ports of entry we have the authority to detain and we do that without hesitation.

+-

    Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster--Coquitlam--Burnaby, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, immigration officials with years of experience said at the Senate committee that even Bill C-11 which the minister boasts about would not help the problem. In fact I have heard that she has a senior bureaucrat running around just releasing people if the per diem bill gets too high.

    The minister's own officials warned over a year ago about the criminal and security risk of non-documented arrivals. They had to have something to get here in the first place. We believe that all who destroy documents should be automatically detained until they meet identity and security needs. Australia does this in a humane and very cost effective way. Why can Canada not do that?

+-

    Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is important for everyone to know that whenever there is a security concern, if there is a concern about the identity of the individual or if we have any evidence to suggest that they will not show up for their hearings, we can and we do detain.

    I have actually told the member opposite that we do that, that we do that whenever we have a concern, and yet he wants to continue to give the impression that people are released from detention even when we have concerns. That is just simply not true.

*   *   *

+-Health

+-

    Mr. Steve Mahoney (Mississauga West, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Yesterday Mike Harris, premier of Ontario, said that the federal government had not made health care one of its top priorities. In fact he also accused the Government of Canada of a funding shortfall.

    What are the real facts on the Government of Canada's health care spending in the province of Ontario?

+-

    Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Mike Harris likes to point the finger at others but when it comes to health care he has no one to blame but himself. His government made choices and Ontario is now stuck with the fallout.

    They chose tax cuts over health care. They chose tax cuts over education. Ontario's own numbers show that since 1998 over half of additional funding for health care in Ontario came from the federal government. Last year alone it was 55%.

    Mike Harris can try to blame others for his choices and his priorities. We have reinvested in health care and will continue to do so. We are proud of our--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Churchill.

*   *   *

+-Employment Insurance

+-

    Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP): Mr. Speaker, employment insurance has not been cutting it for many thousands of laid off lumber industry workers. While the Liberal government plays footsie with the Americans, workers find themselves unemployed in an economy on the verge of recession with little or no EI benefits because of Liberal government cuts to the program.

    Could the Minister of Human Resources Development tell us if she has any intention of temporarily topping up EI for laid off lumber industry workers to help them through this trade war?

+-

    Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about the potential impact of the recent decision on workers in the softwood lumber industry. As I have said in the House before, we anticipate the majority of workers in the softwood lumber industry will be eligible for employment insurance should they need it.

    Aside from income support the hon. member will know that we make significant transfers to the provinces for use in the active measures, the part 2 benefits for individuals. Now is the time to use those benefits should the workers need them.

*   *   *

  +-(1445)  

+-Softwood Lumber

+-

    Mr. Yvon Godin (Acadie--Bathurst, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Atlantic lumber producers have been hit with a 12.5% anti-dumping duty. Up until just a few days ago there was no indication from the U.S. or the Canadian government that there was any problem with Atlantic lumber. Now it is clear the NAFTA deal is no deal at all.

    My question is for the Minister for International Trade. Does he agree with the statement that when it comes to softwood lumber there are no free trade rules; there are no fair trade rules; there are only the American rules?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I understand very much why the member is angry at this time, but what is important is that we work on that one together with the Americans.

    I am encouraged by the lunch I had with Mr. Racicot because I found him to be a man who I think is fair. He is very close to the president of the United States. He is a man who has listened. We have been able to talk about the very difficult circumstances that so many of our communities are going through. I think we can work on that one together for a long term solution.

*   *   *

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland--Colchester, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

    At this very important time in our history, incredibly the foreign service finds itself with 600 unfilled positions around the world.

    The deputy minister testified at committee that he does not have the budget to hire new people and pay quality people fair wages.

    Will the minister, in his upcoming security budget, make sure there is money available to hire and replace these 600 necessary positions at this very critical time?

+-

    Hon. John Manley (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will take that as a submission as part of the prebudget process, to the Minister of Finance, but I find it difficult to take issue with the points the hon. member has made.

*   *   *

+-National Defence

+-

    Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence told the House defence committee that “We will have to catch up a little bit on the timing” of replacing the Sea Kings for 2005.

    However those in charge see it quite differently. Col. Henneberry, head of the Pacific fleet helicopters, stated “It is my opinion that there is a strong potential we will be conducting Sea King operations well past the year 2010”.

    Will the minister the minister make public today his departmental plan to deliver new helicopter--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of National Defence.

+-

    Hon. Art Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her representation and desire to get these helicopters just as quickly as we possibly can, and we are aiming to do that.

    The memorandum she referred to that suggests 2010 is only in an extreme case, such as if we run into further difficulties in getting them delivered. We will do everything we can to get the helicopters replaced just as quickly as we can.

    Meanwhile, we put $50 million into upgrading the Sea Kings and they will be performing quite well in the Arabian Sea area.

*   *   *

+-Employment Insurance

+-

    Mr. Joe Peschisolido (Richmond, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, in October, 26,000 full time jobs were lost and the unemployment rate increased to 7.3%.

    In this difficult economic time, job creation must be encouraged. The Minister of Finance said that payroll taxes are a cancer on job creation.

    Does the Minister of Human Resources Development agree with her cabinet colleague and will she cut EI premiums to create jobs?

+-

    Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as a result of consistent monitoring and prudent changes, the employment insurance system is there and is stronger than ever to support Canadians should they need it.

    I remind the hon. member that the government has taken a balanced approach, consistently reducing employment insurance premiums while increasing the benefits. The government will continue that approach and it will serve us well in these difficult times.

+-

    Mr. Joe Peschisolido (Richmond, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the minister has some $40 billion surplus in the EI account. Our own chief actuary said that only $15 billion is needed for even the worst recession.

    The minister said that she will not cut premiums but there is more than enough money in the EI account.

    The minister cannot have it both ways. Either the money has been wasted and it is unavailable for EI or the minister can cut premiums. Which is it?

  +-(1450)  

+-

    Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first, over the course of the last four to five years the government has cut over $6.5 billion in premiums. They are now substantially reduced.

    Second, the hon. member talked about job creation. Under the Minister of Human Resources Development, almost 67,000 full time jobs have been created in Canada over the past three months.

    There is a final thing I would raise. In this difficult time, when I am preparing a budget and dealing with each of my cabinet colleagues, I would really appreciate it if the opposition would not set me up.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Airline Industry

+-

    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil--Papineau--Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, less than two weeks ago, the Minister of Transport gave Canada 3000 a $75 million loan guarantee to help it with its financial difficulties.

    Today, we have learned that the company is getting ready to lay off 1,400 employees of Royal Aviation.

    Will the minister explain to us his criteria for giving loan guarantees, if preserving jobs is not one of them?

+-

    Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the criteria covered many things, such as investment by investors, restructuring of operations, taking measures for employees, and all sorts of things like that.

    The treatment for Canada 3000 will be the same as for all other airlines.

+-

    Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil--Papineau--Mirabel, BQ): Mr. Speaker, given that Canada 3000 has just rejected job sharing, which would have saved jobs, should the minister not make it a condition of any assistance to airlines that jobs be maintained?

+-

    Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this was the case for Canada 3000. Like any other company, it is entitled to lay off employees only in accordance with the Canada Labour Code and collective agreements. I think that Canada 3000 is meeting these obligations.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Immigration

+-

    Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, Mr. Creuso, the minister's adviser, is a disgraced Italian politician who has been investigated for corruption, sentenced to jail, skipped out on his fine and immigrated to Canada.

    Canadians would like to know how Mr. Creuso, with a sterling resumé like that, would ever qualify for Canadian citizenship and a Canadian government job.

+-

    Hon. Elinor Caplan (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the member should know that before anyone is granted permanent residence status to Canada, he or she must undergo the statutory requirements of both security checks and criminality checks.

    I would also say that further checks are done before citizenship. If, however, an individual knowingly lies or misrepresents himself or herself, citizenship can be revoked under the legislation.

+-

    Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton Centre-East, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the minister of public works, while representing Canada, was travelling abroad with a known felon as an adviser. That is not a comforting thought, is it?

    It certainly adds a new meaning to the expression “Canadian representative at large”.

    How could the minister not know Mr. Creuso had a felonious past? Why did the minister's staff or immigration not inform the minister of his rap sheet?

+-

    Hon. Alfonso Gagliano (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I said before lunch today, when I was asked by the media, I did not know about his problem with the Italian law. I learned like anyone else who reads the Globe and Mail on Saturday mornings.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Public Service of Canada

+-

    Mr. Eugène Bellemare (Ottawa--Orléans, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we hear that the results of the vote in the public service have been announced.

    Could the President of theTreasury Board inform us today of the results?

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the employees represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada have ratified the agreement in principle.

    Some hon. members: Hear, hear.

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard: We have always believed that the collective bargaining process could lead to the signing of negotiated agreements for just and reasonable salaries. And this is what we have done.

[English]

    Let me take the opportunity to thank our public servants.

*   *   *

  +-(1455)  

+-Airport Security

+-

    Mr. James Moore (Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, a couple of days ago, a man walked through Chicago's O'Hare airport security checkpoint with seven knives, a stun gun and a can of mace. He made it past airport security.

    He was caught by a random second security check by airline personnel in the boarding area.

    This is a level of security at airports that Americans have implemented since September 11 that Canada has not.

    Do Canadians not deserve the same level of airport security that the United States has? In fact, do Canadians not deserve the very best rather than the second best, which is what is in place?

+-

    Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question speaks for itself. The fact that he has used an incident in the United States that has not happened here to demonstrate weak security proves that we have a better security system in Canada.

+-

    Mr. James Moore (Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, while the transport minister may be proud of his record, let me tell him what Liberal senator Colin Kenny said yesterday. He said that despite September 11, airport ground personnel, aircraft cleaners, mechanics, baggage handlers, janitorial staff and sales clerks are still not scrutinized for proper security clearance and low cost, poorly trained employees are still at the helm of security checks.

    While the trained seals in the House may applaud him, his colleagues in the other House are saying that he is not doing his job.

    When will the transport minister bring to the House real legislation, not directives to his employees, to improve security permanently, not temporarily, like Canadians deserve?

+-

    Hon. David Collenette (Minister of Transport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, everyone on this side of the House takes the advice from the other place very seriously.

    The hon. member should realize that the United States adopted the clearest procedures for airline workers and all the people who secure air space. The Americans adopted Canadian standards because the Canadian standards were thorough, with background checks, the RCMP and CSIS. That is the kind of security we have in Canada.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Publishing Industry

+-

    Ms. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Canadian Heritage said she found it normal to request the names and credit card numbers of the subscribers of small publishing houses receiving funding from Heritage Canada.

    How can the minister consider it normal to demand a publisher send a private firm such highly confidential and personal information as the name and credit card number, when the privacy commissioner finds that illegal?

+-

    Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, when the government gives money to a publisher, it has a responsibility to ensure a proper audit. That is what we are doing.

    If the company does not want an audit, it is not obliged to accept the investment.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Industry Canada

+-

    Mr. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa--Vanier, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry.

    Canada has a long tradition of excellence and innovation in astronomy and astrophysics, yet our participation in future technologies may be in jeopardy.

    Will the minister tell us what the government is doing to ensure Canada's participation in the next generation of world observatories so that our scientists can continue to compete in this most innovative field of scientific research?

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Brian Tobin (Minister of Industry, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government is taking a serious look at the long term plan. The field of astronomy and astrophysics is a scientific success in Canada.

[English]

    In fact Canada is among the top three nations in the world in the important field of science and astronomy. When we can do more of course we will do more. I await with bated breath the budget of the Minister of Finance.

*   *   *

+-Firearms Registry

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton--Melville, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, on top of the colossal waste of more than half a billion dollars, now we have more evidence of bungling by bureaucrats in the problem plagued gun registry.

    The privacy commissioner is investigating a number of firearms licences that were issued with the wrong photos. Now we have a documented case of a firearm being registered to the wrong person. The unhappy recipient complains “I do not want to be responsible for a firearm that I do not possess”.

    Could the solicitor general please explain how the registry of firearms made such a potentially catastrophic mistake?

  +-(1500)  

+-

    Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me remind the hon. member and the House that our firearms licensing and registration program is an investment in public security and safety and it is an investment supported by an overwhelming number of Canadians.

    If the hon. member has a specific case that he would like to bring to my attention, I would ask him to do so and I will investigate it.

*   *   *

+-Softwood Lumber

+-

    Mr. Gary Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, the government's performance in QP on the softwood lumber file has been to laugh and joke at these questions while Canadian families are being destroyed. People are losing their jobs and declaring bankruptcy.

    The minister says that it is a top priority and that the PM has been the most active. The Prime Minister talks about his staged photo-ops. Well, it is not working. If this is their very best, it is costing our industry $9 million a day in tariffs and it is going downhill.

    What will it take for the Prime Minister to get directly involved in the file and make it his number one priority?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is important for the communities in Canada to realize that no one on either side of the House has been laughing while we have been discussing the softwood lumber issue. All of us and all members in the House are very preoccupied with the fate of communities across the land over the softwood lumber issue.

    The Prime Minister has been personally involved on the softwood lumber issue from day one. He has raised it at every opportunity he has had with President Bush. He raised it in the first meeting following the attacks of September 11.

*   *   *

+-Presence in Gallery

+-

    The Speaker: I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of Dr. Julio Frenk, Minister of Health of Mexico.

    Some hon. members: Hear, hear.


+-Government Orders

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

  +-(1505)  

[English]

+-Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act

     The House resumed consideration of Bill C-10, an act respecting the national marine conservation areas of Canada, as reported (with amendment) from the committee.

+-

    The Speaker: It being three o'clock p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded divisions on the report stage of Bill C-10. The question is on Motion No. 1.

    Call in the members.

*   *   *

  +-(1515)  

[Translation]

    (The House divided on Motion No. 1, which was negatived on the following division:)

+

(Division No. 160)

YEAS

Members

Blaikie
Comartin
Davies
Desjarlais
Godin
Lill
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
McDonough
Nystrom
Proctor
Stoffer
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: 12

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Adams
Allard
Anders
Anderson (Cypress Hills--Grasslands)
Assad
Assadourian
Augustine
Bachand (Richmond--Arthabaska)
Bagnell
Bailey
Baker
Barnes
Beaumier
Bélanger
Bellehumeur
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bergeron
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bourgeois
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brien
Brison
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Cardin
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Comuzzi
Copps
Crête
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
Dalphond-Guiral
Day
Desrochers
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Dubé
Duceppe
Duhamel
Duncan
Easter
Eggleton
Elley
Epp
Farrah
Finlay
Fontana
Forseth
Fournier
Fry
Gagliano
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gallant
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godfrey
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey (Edmonton North)
Guarnieri
Guay
Guimond
Harb
Harris
Harvard
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Macleod)
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hinton
Hubbard
Jackson
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Keyes
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lanctôt
Lastewka
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lee
Leung
Lincoln
Longfield
Loubier
Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo--Alberni)
MacAulay
MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough)
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Manning
Marceau
Marcil
Mark
Marleau
Martin (Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca)
Matthews
Mayfield
McCallum
McCormick
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McNally
McTeague
Ménard
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mills (Toronto--Danforth)
Minna
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pagtakhan
Pallister
Paquette
Paradis
Patry
Peric
Perron
Peschisolido
Peterson
Pettigrew
Phinney
Picard (Drummond)
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Plamondon
Pratt
Proulx
Provenzano
Rajotte
Redman
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Reid (Lanark--Carleton)
Reynolds
Richardson
Ritz
Robillard
Rocheleau
Rock
Roy
Saada
Sauvageau
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Solberg
Sorenson
St-Hilaire
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Tirabassi
Tobin
Toews
Tonks
Torsney
Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay)
Tremblay (Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis)
Ur
Valeri
Vanclief
Venne
Volpe
Wappel
Wayne
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: 243

PAIRED

Members

Anderson (Victoria)
Asselin
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Cauchon
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)

Total: 6

+-

    The Speaker: I declare the motion lost.

[English]

    The next question is on Motion No. 2.

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If you were to ask, I think you would find consent that the vote just taken on Motion No. 1 be applied to Motion No. 2, Motion No. 4, Motion No. 5 and Motion No. 7.

+-

    The Speaker: Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

*   *   *

    (The House divided on Motion No. 2, which was negatived on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 161)

YEAS

Members

Blaikie
Comartin
Davies
Desjarlais
Godin
Lill
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
McDonough
Nystrom
Proctor
Stoffer
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: 12

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Adams
Allard
Anders
Anderson (Cypress Hills--Grasslands)
Assad
Assadourian
Augustine
Bachand (Richmond--Arthabaska)
Bagnell
Bailey
Baker
Barnes
Beaumier
Bélanger
Bellehumeur
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bergeron
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bourgeois
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brien
Brison
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Cardin
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Comuzzi
Copps
Crête
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
Dalphond-Guiral
Day
Desrochers
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Dubé
Duceppe
Duhamel
Duncan
Easter
Eggleton
Elley
Epp
Farrah
Finlay
Fontana
Forseth
Fournier
Fry
Gagliano
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gallant
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godfrey
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey (Edmonton North)
Guarnieri
Guay
Guimond
Harb
Harris
Harvard
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Macleod)
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hinton
Hubbard
Jackson
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Keyes
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lanctôt
Lastewka
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lee
Leung
Lincoln
Longfield
Loubier
Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo--Alberni)
MacAulay
MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough)
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Manning
Marceau
Marcil
Mark
Marleau
Martin (Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca)
Matthews
Mayfield
McCallum
McCormick
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McNally
McTeague
Ménard
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mills (Toronto--Danforth)
Minna
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pagtakhan
Pallister
Paquette
Paradis
Patry
Peric
Perron
Peschisolido
Peterson
Pettigrew
Phinney
Picard (Drummond)
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Plamondon
Pratt
Proulx
Provenzano
Rajotte
Redman
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Reid (Lanark--Carleton)
Reynolds
Richardson
Ritz
Robillard
Rocheleau
Rock
Roy
Saada
Sauvageau
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Solberg
Sorenson
St-Hilaire
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Tirabassi
Tobin
Toews
Tonks
Torsney
Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay)
Tremblay (Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis)
Ur
Valeri
Vanclief
Venne
Volpe
Wappel
Wayne
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: 243

PAIRED

Members

Anderson (Victoria)
Asselin
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Cauchon
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)

Total: 6

*   *   *

    (The House divided on Motion No. 4, which was negatived on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 163)

YEAS

Members

Blaikie
Comartin
Davies
Desjarlais
Godin
Lill
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
McDonough
Nystrom
Proctor
Stoffer
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: 12

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Adams
Allard
Anders
Anderson (Cypress Hills--Grasslands)
Assad
Assadourian
Augustine
Bachand (Richmond--Arthabaska)
Bagnell
Bailey
Baker
Barnes
Beaumier
Bélanger
Bellehumeur
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bergeron
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bourgeois
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brien
Brison
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Cardin
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Comuzzi
Copps
Crête
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
Dalphond-Guiral
Day
Desrochers
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Dubé
Duceppe
Duhamel
Duncan
Easter
Eggleton
Elley
Epp
Farrah
Finlay
Fontana
Forseth
Fournier
Fry
Gagliano
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gallant
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godfrey
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey (Edmonton North)
Guarnieri
Guay
Guimond
Harb
Harris
Harvard
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Macleod)
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hinton
Hubbard
Jackson
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Keyes
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lanctôt
Lastewka
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lee
Leung
Lincoln
Longfield
Loubier
Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo--Alberni)
MacAulay
MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough)
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Manning
Marceau
Marcil
Mark
Marleau
Martin (Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca)
Matthews
Mayfield
McCallum
McCormick
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McNally
McTeague
Ménard
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mills (Toronto--Danforth)
Minna
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pagtakhan
Pallister
Paquette
Paradis
Patry
Peric
Perron
Peschisolido
Peterson
Pettigrew
Phinney
Picard (Drummond)
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Plamondon
Pratt
Proulx
Provenzano
Rajotte
Redman
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Reid (Lanark--Carleton)
Reynolds
Richardson
Ritz
Robillard
Rocheleau
Rock
Roy
Saada
Sauvageau
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Solberg
Sorenson
St-Hilaire
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Tirabassi
Tobin
Toews
Tonks
Torsney
Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay)
Tremblay (Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis)
Ur
Valeri
Vanclief
Venne
Volpe
Wappel
Wayne
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: 243

PAIRED

Members

Anderson (Victoria)
Asselin
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Cauchon
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)

Total: 6

*   *   *

    (The House divided on Motion No. 5, which was negatived on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 164)

YEAS

Members

Blaikie
Comartin
Davies
Desjarlais
Godin
Lill
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
McDonough
Nystrom
Proctor
Stoffer
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: 12

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Adams
Allard
Anders
Anderson (Cypress Hills--Grasslands)
Assad
Assadourian
Augustine
Bachand (Richmond--Arthabaska)
Bagnell
Bailey
Baker
Barnes
Beaumier
Bélanger
Bellehumeur
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bergeron
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bourgeois
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brien
Brison
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Cardin
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Comuzzi
Copps
Crête
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
Dalphond-Guiral
Day
Desrochers
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Dubé
Duceppe
Duhamel
Duncan
Easter
Eggleton
Elley
Epp
Farrah
Finlay
Fontana
Forseth
Fournier
Fry
Gagliano
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gallant
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godfrey
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey (Edmonton North)
Guarnieri
Guay
Guimond
Harb
Harris
Harvard
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Macleod)
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hinton
Hubbard
Jackson
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Keyes
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lanctôt
Lastewka
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lee
Leung
Lincoln
Longfield
Loubier
Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo--Alberni)
MacAulay
MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough)
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Manning
Marceau
Marcil
Mark
Marleau
Martin (Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca)
Matthews
Mayfield
McCallum
McCormick
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McNally
McTeague
Ménard
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mills (Toronto--Danforth)
Minna
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pagtakhan
Pallister
Paquette
Paradis
Patry
Peric
Perron
Peschisolido
Peterson
Pettigrew
Phinney
Picard (Drummond)
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Plamondon
Pratt
Proulx
Provenzano
Rajotte
Redman
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Reid (Lanark--Carleton)
Reynolds
Richardson
Ritz
Robillard
Rocheleau
Rock
Roy
Saada
Sauvageau
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Solberg
Sorenson
St-Hilaire
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Tirabassi
Tobin
Toews
Tonks
Torsney
Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay)
Tremblay (Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis)
Ur
Valeri
Vanclief
Venne
Volpe
Wappel
Wayne
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: 243

PAIRED

Members

Anderson (Victoria)
Asselin
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Cauchon
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)

Total: 6

*   *   *

    (The House divided on Motion No. 7, which was negatived on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 166)

YEAS

Members

Blaikie
Comartin
Davies
Desjarlais
Godin
Lill
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
McDonough
Nystrom
Proctor
Stoffer
Wasylycia-Leis

Total: 12

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Adams
Allard
Anders
Anderson (Cypress Hills--Grasslands)
Assad
Assadourian
Augustine
Bachand (Richmond--Arthabaska)
Bagnell
Bailey
Baker
Barnes
Beaumier
Bélanger
Bellehumeur
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bergeron
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bourgeois
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brien
Brison
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Cardin
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Comuzzi
Copps
Crête
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
Dalphond-Guiral
Day
Desrochers
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Dubé
Duceppe
Duhamel
Duncan
Easter
Eggleton
Elley
Epp
Farrah
Finlay
Fontana
Forseth
Fournier
Fry
Gagliano
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gallant
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godfrey
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey (Edmonton North)
Guarnieri
Guay
Guimond
Harb
Harris
Harvard
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Macleod)
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hinton
Hubbard
Jackson
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Keyes
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lanctôt
Lastewka
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lee
Leung
Lincoln
Longfield
Loubier
Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo--Alberni)
MacAulay
MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough)
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Manning
Marceau
Marcil
Mark
Marleau
Martin (Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca)
Matthews
Mayfield
McCallum
McCormick
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McNally
McTeague
Ménard
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mills (Toronto--Danforth)
Minna
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pagtakhan
Pallister
Paquette
Paradis
Patry
Peric
Perron
Peschisolido
Peterson
Pettigrew
Phinney
Picard (Drummond)
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Plamondon
Pratt
Proulx
Provenzano
Rajotte
Redman
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Reid (Lanark--Carleton)
Reynolds
Richardson
Ritz
Robillard
Rocheleau
Rock
Roy
Saada
Sauvageau
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Solberg
Sorenson
St-Hilaire
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Tirabassi
Tobin
Toews
Tonks
Torsney
Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay)
Tremblay (Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis)
Ur
Valeri
Vanclief
Venne
Volpe
Wappel
Wayne
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: 243

PAIRED

Members

Anderson (Victoria)
Asselin
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Cauchon
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)

Total: 6

+-

    The Speaker: I therefore declare Motions Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 7 lost. The next question is on Motion No. 3.

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think you would find unanimous consent that those who voted on the previous motions be recorded as voting on the motion now before the House, with Liberal members voting yes.

+-

    The Speaker: Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

+-

    Mr. Richard Harris: Mr. Speaker, members of the Canadian Alliance will be voting yes to Motion No. 3.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Pierre Brien: Mr. Speaker, members of the Bloc Quebecois vote no to this motion.

+-

    Mr. Yvon Godin: Mr. Speaker, members of the NDP vote yes to this motion.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill: Mr. Speaker, PC/DR coalition members present this afternoon will be voting in favour of Motion No. 3.

*   *   *

    (The House divided on Motion No. 3, which was agreed to on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 162)

YEAS

Members

Abbott
Adams
Allard
Anders
Anderson (Cypress Hills--Grasslands)
Assad
Assadourian
Augustine
Bachand (Richmond--Arthabaska)
Bagnell
Bailey
Baker
Barnes
Beaumier
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Benoit
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blaikie
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bradshaw
Breitkreuz
Brison
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Burton
Byrne
Caccia
Cadman
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Carroll
Casey
Casson
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Comartin
Comuzzi
Copps
Cullen
Cummins
Cuzner
Davies
Day
Desjarlais
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Duhamel
Duncan
Easter
Eggleton
Elley
Epp
Farrah
Finlay
Fontana
Forseth
Fry
Gagliano
Gallant
Godfrey
Godin
Goldring
Goodale
Gouk
Graham
Grewal
Grey (Edmonton North)
Guarnieri
Harb
Harris
Harvard
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Macleod)
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hinton
Hubbard
Jackson
Jaffer
Jennings
Johnston
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Keyes
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Lastewka
LeBlanc
Lee
Leung
Lill
Lincoln
Longfield
Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo--Alberni)
MacAulay
MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough)
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Manning
Marcil
Mark
Marleau
Martin (Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca)
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Matthews
Mayfield
McCallum
McCormick
McDonough
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McNally
McTeague
Meredith
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Mills (Toronto--Danforth)
Minna
Mitchell
Moore
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
Nystrom
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pagtakhan
Pallister
Paradis
Patry
Peric
Peschisolido
Peterson
Pettigrew
Phinney
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Pratt
Proctor
Proulx
Provenzano
Rajotte
Redman
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Reid (Lanark--Carleton)
Reynolds
Richardson
Ritz
Robillard
Rock
Saada
Savoy
Scherrer
Schmidt
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
Solberg
Sorenson
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stinson
Stoffer
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Tirabassi
Tobin
Toews
Tonks
Torsney
Ur
Valeri
Vanclief
Volpe
Wappel
Wasylycia-Leis
Wayne
Whelan
White (North Vancouver)
Wilfert
Williams
Wood
Yelich

Total: 220

NAYS

Members

Bellehumeur
Bergeron
Bourgeois
Brien
Cardin
Crête
Dalphond-Guiral
Desrochers
Dubé
Duceppe
Fournier
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Guay
Guimond
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lanctôt
Lebel
Loubier
Marceau
Ménard
Paquette
Perron
Picard (Drummond)
Plamondon
Rocheleau
Roy
Sauvageau
St-Hilaire
Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay)
Tremblay (Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis)
Venne

Total: 35

PAIRED

Members

Anderson (Victoria)
Asselin
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Cauchon
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)

Total: 6

+-

    The Speaker: I declare Motion No. 3 carried.

    The next question is on Motion No. 6.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find unanimous consent that those members who voted on the previous motion be recorded as having voted on the motion now before the House, with Liberal members voting no.

+-

    The Speaker: Is there unanimous consent of the House to proceed in such a fashion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Richard Harris: Mr. Speaker, Canadian Alliance members will be voting yes to the motion.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Pierre Brien: Mr. Speaker, members of the Bloc Quebecois vote no to this motion.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Yvon Godin: Mr. Speaker, members of the NDP present are voting no to the motion.

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill: Mr. Speaker, coalition members will be voting no to the motion.

+-

    Mr. Gary Lunn: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I wish to be recorded as voting yes to Motion No. 6.

*   *   *

  +-(1520)  

    (The House divided on Motion No. 6, which was negatived on the following division:)

+-

(Division No. 165)

YEAS

Members

Abbott
Anders
Anderson (Cypress Hills--Grasslands)
Bailey
Benoit
Breitkreuz
Burton
Cadman
Casson
Cummins
Day
Duncan
Elley
Epp
Forseth
Gallant
Goldring
Gouk
Grewal
Harris
Hill (Macleod)
Hinton
Jaffer
Johnston
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands)
Lunney (Nanaimo--Alberni)
Manning
Martin (Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca)
Mayfield
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Moore
Pallister
Peschisolido
Rajotte
Reid (Lanark--Carleton)
Reynolds
Ritz
Schmidt
Solberg
Sorenson
Stinson
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Toews
White (North Vancouver)
Williams
Yelich

Total: 48

NAYS

Members

Adams
Allard
Assad
Assadourian
Augustine
Bachand (Richmond--Arthabaska)
Bagnell
Baker
Barnes
Beaumier
Bélanger
Bellehumeur
Bellemare
Bennett
Bergeron
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blaikie
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bourgeois
Bradshaw
Brien
Brison
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Byrne
Caccia
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Cardin
Carroll
Casey
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Comartin
Comuzzi
Copps
Crête
Cullen
Cuzner
Dalphond-Guiral
Davies
Desjarlais
Desrochers
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Dubé
Duceppe
Duhamel
Easter
Eggleton
Farrah
Finlay
Fontana
Fournier
Fry
Gagliano
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godfrey
Godin
Goodale
Graham
Grey (Edmonton North)
Guarnieri
Guay
Guimond
Harb
Harvard
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hubbard
Jackson
Jennings
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Keyes
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lanctôt
Lastewka
Lebel
LeBlanc
Lee
Leung
Lill
Lincoln
Longfield
Loubier
MacAulay
MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough)
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Marceau
Marcil
Mark
Marleau
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Matthews
McCallum
McCormick
McDonough
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McNally
McTeague
Ménard
Meredith
Mills (Toronto--Danforth)
Minna
Mitchell
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
Nystrom
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pagtakhan
Paquette
Paradis
Patry
Peric
Perron
Peterson
Pettigrew
Phinney
Picard (Drummond)
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Plamondon
Pratt
Proctor
Proulx
Provenzano
Redman
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Richardson
Robillard
Rocheleau
Rock
Roy
Saada
Sauvageau
Savoy
Scherrer
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
St-Hilaire
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Stoffer
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Tirabassi
Tobin
Tonks
Torsney
Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay)
Tremblay (Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis)
Ur
Valeri
Vanclief
Venne
Volpe
Wappel
Wasylycia-Leis
Wayne
Whelan
Wilfert
Wood

Total: 207

PAIRED

Members

Anderson (Victoria)
Asselin
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Cauchon
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)

Total: 6

+-

    The Speaker: I declare Motion No. 6 lost.

+-

    Hon. Sheila Copps (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.) moved that the bill be concurred in.

+-

    Ms. Marlene Catterall: Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find consent that the members who voted on the previous motion be recorded as voting on this motion, with Liberal members voting yes.

+-

    The Speaker: Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this way?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

+-

    Mr. Richard Harris: Mr. Speaker, Canadian Alliance members will be voting no to the motion.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Pierre Brien: Mr. Speaker, members of the Bloc Quebecois vote no to this motion.

+-

    Mr. Yvon Godin: Mr. Speaker, members of the New Democratic Party vote no to this motion.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill: Mr. Speaker, coalition members will be voting in favour of the motion.

    (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

-

(Division No. 167)

YEAS

Members

Adams
Allard
Assad
Assadourian
Augustine
Bachand (Richmond--Arthabaska)
Bagnell
Baker
Barnes
Beaumier
Bélanger
Bellemare
Bennett
Bertrand
Bevilacqua
Binet
Blondin-Andrew
Bonin
Bonwick
Borotsik
Boudria
Bradshaw
Brison
Brown
Bryden
Bulte
Byrne
Caccia
Calder
Cannis
Caplan
Carroll
Casey
Castonguay
Catterall
Chamberlain
Clark
Coderre
Collenette
Comuzzi
Copps
Cullen
Cuzner
DeVillers
Dhaliwal
Dion
Doyle
Dromisky
Drouin
Duhamel
Easter
Eggleton
Farrah
Finlay
Fontana
Fry
Gagliano
Godfrey
Goodale
Graham
Grey (Edmonton North)
Guarnieri
Harb
Harvard
Harvey
Hearn
Herron
Hill (Prince George--Peace River)
Hubbard
Jackson
Jennings
Jordan
Karetak-Lindell
Keyes
Knutson
Kraft Sloan
Lastewka
LeBlanc
Lee
Leung
Lincoln
Longfield
Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands)
MacAulay
MacKay (Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough)
Macklin
Mahoney
Malhi
Maloney
Manley
Marcil
Mark
Marleau
Matthews
McCallum
McCormick
McGuire
McKay (Scarborough East)
McLellan
McNally
McTeague
Meredith
Mills (Toronto--Danforth)
Minna
Mitchell
Murphy
Myers
Nault
Neville
Normand
O'Brien (London--Fanshawe)
O'Reilly
Owen
Pagtakhan
Paradis
Patry
Peric
Peterson
Pettigrew
Phinney
Pickard (Chatham--Kent Essex)
Pillitteri
Pratt
Proulx
Provenzano
Redman
Reed (Halton)
Regan
Richardson
Robillard
Rock
Saada
Savoy
Scherrer
Scott
Sgro
Shepherd
St-Jacques
St-Julien
St. Denis
Steckle
Stewart
Strahl
Szabo
Telegdi
Thibault (West Nova)
Thibeault (Saint-Lambert)
Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest)
Tirabassi
Tobin
Tonks
Torsney
Ur
Valeri
Vanclief
Volpe
Wappel
Wayne
Whelan
Wilfert
Wood

Total: 161

NAYS

Members

Abbott
Anders
Anderson (Cypress Hills--Grasslands)
Bailey
Bellehumeur
Benoit
Bergeron
Blaikie
Bourgeois
Breitkreuz
Brien
Burton
Cadman
Cardin
Casson
Comartin
Crête
Cummins
Dalphond-Guiral
Davies
Day
Desjarlais
Desrochers
Dubé
Duceppe
Duncan
Elley
Epp
Forseth
Fournier
Gagnon (Québec)
Gagnon (Champlain)
Gallant
Gauthier
Girard-Bujold
Godin
Goldring
Gouk
Grewal
Guay
Guimond
Harris
Hill (Macleod)
Hinton
Jaffer
Johnston
Kenney (Calgary Southeast)
Laframboise
Lalonde
Lanctôt
Lebel
Lill
Loubier
Lunney (Nanaimo--Alberni)
Manning
Marceau
Martin (Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca)
Martin (Winnipeg Centre)
Mayfield
McDonough
Ménard
Merrifield
Mills (Red Deer)
Moore
Nystrom
Pallister
Paquette
Perron
Peschisolido
Picard (Drummond)
Plamondon
Proctor
Rajotte
Reid (Lanark--Carleton)
Reynolds
Ritz
Rocheleau
Roy
Sauvageau
Schmidt
Solberg
Sorenson
St-Hilaire
Stinson
Stoffer
Thompson (Wild Rose)
Toews
Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay)
Tremblay (Rimouski-Neigette-et-la Mitis)
Venne
Wasylycia-Leis
White (North Vancouver)
Williams
Yelich

Total: 94

PAIRED

Members

Anderson (Victoria)
Asselin
Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Bigras
Cauchon
Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast)

Total: 6

+-

    The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

-Emergency Debate

[S. O. 52]

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Softwood Lumber

+-

    The Speaker: The House will now proceed to the consideration of a motion to adjourn the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter requiring urgent consideration, namely, softwood lumber.

+-

    Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques, BQ) moved:

That this House do now adjourn.

+-

    Mr. Pierre Paquette (Joliette, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise you that members of the Bloc Quebecois taking part in this emergency debate will be splitting their time in 10 minute segments.

    First, I want to thank the member for Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques for requesting an emergency debate on the softwood lumber issue. I think everybody will agree that this emergency debate has become necessary after last week's announcements.

    We requested an emergency debate on this issue because we are both concerned and appalled. Obviously, we are appalled by the decisions made by the Americans, which we find outrageous. With countervailing duties of 19.3% to which anti-dumping duties averaging 12.58% were just added, we are talking about duties totalling about 32%. This will be extremely detrimental to our industries, our businesses, our jobs and our regions in Quebec.

    It is outrageous because in this process that the Americans just put in place, they are both judge and judged. That enables overly protectionist lobbies to constantly harass the Canadian and Quebec industry, as we have seen not only over the last 15 years, but also over the last century.

    What is somewhat sad is that this surtax, this practice used by the American industry of calling upon trade tribunals to impose this type of surtax, is detrimental to the American economy and goes against the interest of American consumers, an interest that would be well understood.

    As I was saying, these duties exceeding 32% that will apply for the next six weeks represent a surtax currently estimated at $637 million for Quebec alone. This means that on $2 billion worth of shipments to the United States, the Quebec industry could pay $637  million a year in duties, should these decisions, which are just preliminary, be maintained as final decisions.

    We are appalled by these decisions that are totally unjustified. In this regard, I think everyone in the House will agree that our industries are not subsidized, as recent investigations have shown. What we must face is deeply rooted prejudice on the part of American officials, American elected representatives and the industry to the effect that, because our forests are publicly owned and managed, they are automatically sold at low price to the industry, which would be a form of subsidy.

    So, as I have already said, we are concerned because, until December 17, there will be this 32% surtax, which is a threat to our exports, to our jobs and to our industries, not to mention our businesses.

    I would remind hon. members that Quebec is the second largest producer of softwood lumber in Canada, after B.C., with 25.5% of total production. We produce approximately seven billion board feet annually. This provides 40,000 jobs directly related to the industry, whether in sawmills or in the bush.

  +-(1525)  

+-

     In Canada, there is talk of 130,000 jobs related to this industry. They are threatened at the very moment that we are undergoing an economic downturn, perhaps—although we would not wish for it, but it is a strong possibility--the beginning of a recession. In Quebec, this is an industry which generates $4 billion in revenues annually. There are more than 250 Quebec municipalities which have developed around it. There are 135 towns and villages 100% dependent on the softwood lumber industry for their jobs in manufacturing. As hon. members can see, this is an extremely important industry not only for Quebec as a whole, but also for its regions and the municipalities in those regions.

    Half of our production for export goes to the U.S., and the other half to Canada. As I have pointed out already, we are talking about annual exports of CAN $2 billion. For all of Canada, we are talking some $10 or $11 billion. This is, therefore, an industry of great importance for Canada and for Quebec.

    We are concerned because the Americans' protectionist actions will impact, and have already impacted, employment in many regions of Quebec and Canada. They have also had an impact on a number of businesses, particularly smaller businesses, which are more financially vulnerable. However, we are also concerned, more than when parliament reopened, about the current government's real will to bring us to free trade.

    I will not hide the fact that I am concerned that the situation in which we currently find ourselves closely resembles the situation that led to the 1996 agreement, which, I will remind hon. members, penalized the industry in Quebec considerably. Even though we had managed to prove that we were not subsidized, we were subjected to a 6.5% export tax, which was the average that was negotiated with the Americans. For us, this was additional proof of the federal government's inability to defend Quebec's interests. Our exports were unfairly subjected to a quota, and we do not want to go through that experience again.

    I am concerned because there are currently discussions under way between the provinces and American officials. We are in favour of such discussions. The Americans were quite clear about their demands. They want to discuss stumpage fees and long-term contracts, also known as the tenure system. They want to discuss mandatory requirements, in other words everything having to do with the requirement to harvest the volumes allocated by governments, particularly in Quebec and British Columbia. They want to discuss transition measures to ensure that during the time it takes for the provinces to modify their forest management systems, there are certain measures and bridging mechanisms to lead to free trade. They are also asking that both parties respect the agreements, which is completely understandable. They especially want Canada to abandon its procedures before the WTO, and eventually, before the NAFTA panels.

    But what did we ask for from the Americans in return? Nothing. This is what I do not understand about the discussions. Clearly, for now, these are not what you would call negotiations.

  +-(1530)  

+-

     We know for a fact that there are adverse effects from American practices, which create distortions in the United States, but which also create distortions in how we manage the softwood lumber industry. Because of these chronic softwood shortages in the U.S., we are forced to periodically increase our production capacities, not to meet demand from Canada or Quebec, but to meet demand from the United States.

    They are the ones then calling for help. When their forests resume production, then we are in the way. Periodically, we have gone through these protectionist crises to restore portions of the market. Especially since Canada and Quebec in particular have invested in technology and reorganized the work. I know whereof I speak, because I used to be the secretary general of the CSN, and we were well represented in the lumber industry. I was a party to the discussions which arose in these companies, especially in the early and late 1980s, about how to reorganize the work, and move on from an approach which was perhaps a bit easygoing to one which was performance-oriented.

    Now, because we in Quebec and in Canada have done our homework, we should pay the price, while the Americans did not invest enough in their industry. It is the federal government's responsibility to ask these questions to the personal envoy of the U.S. president. The provinces should not have to do it. They are currently working very hard in their discussions on forest management systems. I know that, particularly in Quebec, a number of proposals were put on the table. In any case, these proposals were necessary, and the government had intended to put them on the table. They will satisfy, partly for sure, U.S. officials.

    However, this will not be enough if the federal government does not take its responsibilities. This is why it is important to maintain, both in the rhetoric and in the practice, a will to return to total free trade with the United States. I am concerned when I hear the parliamentary secretary refer to negotiations and discussions at the same time. I am also concerned when I hear the Prime Minister of Canada tell us, as he did yesterday, that we had an agreement that worked for five years. It did not work for five years. It penalized us for five years.

    A summit meeting with all the players is necessary to ensure that the consensus achieved in May still exists in November. The next six weeks will be extremely difficult, and understandably so. Some manufacturing associations, such as the Canadian Lumber Remanufacturers Association and FTLC, the Free Trade Lumber Council, asked for such a meeting. We are also asking for a meeting at the earliest opportunity.

    Some measures are in order, I am convinced that the hon. member for Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques will elaborate on this, and more specifically on employment insurance, to help workers make it through this difficult period.

    I will conclude by saying that the Prime Minister must absolutely get the U.S. president to order the withdrawal of these countervailing and anti-dumping duties, until the WTO panels have validated our position.

+-

    Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski--Neigette-et-la Mitis, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I am really pleased to have the opportunity to take part in this emergency debate tonight. I live in a region that has been feeling the negative impact of these decisions made by the Americans.

    Particularly last weekend, everybody was asking me “What is happening with the softwood lumber issue? What can you do against the Americans? Why are they doing this?” People are wondering why the Americans are acting this way. Why did we take our case to the international tribunals? What good did it do us to take our case to the WTO and to win, if it does not change a thing?

    People are getting tired of this situation where it seems that we are engaged in a battle like the one that opposed David to Goliath, a battle of the poor against the rich, the weak against the mighty. They are getting tired of seeing that we keep going back to square one and that this situation is hurting us more and more. They are wondering how things could change.

    Things must change. We cannot go on like this. We must find a way of getting through this wall that is preventing us from asserting our rights.

    In 1996, the government signed an agreement. As mentioned by my colleague from Joliette, it proved to be a negative agreement. It was not beneficial to Quebec and British Columbia, and it was not beneficial to Canadians.

    When it expired and even before that—we knew it was due to expire on March 31, 2001—we kept asking the government “What will you do? The agreement is about to expire. We want free trade. We signed a free trade agreement and now we want it to be honoured”.

    We know what has happened since that time. The American government has made decisions that are truly detrimental to us.

    What conclusion should we draw from all this? We realize that Canadian officials refuse to use the word “negotiations”, as if they were afraid of it. They do not want to talk about negotiations; they say that they are having “discussions” with the U.S. government. They are discussing, and not negotiating, with the American government.

    They should really be negotiating. In a negotiation system, a relationship of power is established and there is some give and take. They have to start saying to the Americans “We want to change our policy now. We have lost our sympathy for the United States. You will not get any more of our oil, our natural gas or whatever else you want”.

    The Americans want our drinking water. Well we better tell them right off that if they do not give us what we want in terms of lumber, they will get nothing. Let us put that in the negotiations. This is the sort of thing we negotiate for. A negotiations mindset is required, not a defeatist or cry-baby attitude over the corner of a table. We must negotiate.

    The Americans are negotiating; they have appointed a negotiator, the former governor of Montana, Marc Racicot. If there is no one opposite them to negotiate, the Americans will negotiate all by themselves. Canadians have to get it into their heads that they have to negotiate too. This is a very important attitude to have from the outset.

    Without the right attitude initially or if the idea is simply to go and parley, chew the fat, talk over coffee, how will they get down to negotiations? I think this is important. Negotiations are underway, at least the Americans have started them.

    The industry is unhappy about not being involved in these negotiations. It was simply told “You can roam the halls, lobby all you want around us, and entertain our court, as an industry, but we will do the negotiating”. The government sends officials to negotiate, but perhaps it should consider sending those who know which side is up.

  +-(1535)  

    We must therefore pursue the battle with the Americans and explain to the public that something has to happen. I have seen articles referring to a two by four war. This is an image that is very important, for the people of Canada anyway.

    Everyone has seen tractor trailers on the highways hauling loads of two by fours. Very often, it might be something else but, very often, it looks like two by fours. Often they are wrapped in paper. One end is painted green and the other blue. It depends on the company.

    In my area, almost everyone knows someone directly or indirectly related to a lumber worker. Lumber workers are those who work right in the forest or who transport wood from the forest to the sawmill. Some of them work in the sawmill and some of them take the resulting lumber somewhere in the United States, because that is where over 50% of our production goes.

    Last summer, the hon. members for Joliette and Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques and I met with the Americans. We met senators and members of congress. I must admit that I was astonished. There were several other people. There were Liberals and people from all parties. I do not think that any party was not represented—or perhaps one—but we all tried to be there because we had an interest in doing so. We were all there. As I said, we met senators, members of the house of representatives, and even lobbyists. The vice president of Home Depot was there.

    These people spoke with us and understood the situation. Very often, Canadian wood is of better quality than American wood. In addition, Americans do not produce the same wood that we export to the United States. These trees do not grow in the United States.

    What struck me was the complete ignorance of American parliamentarians. They understand nothing about our system and they are wrongly accusing us of subsidizing an industry when this is not the case at all. I was truly astonished to see senators say quite simply “Oh, so that is how it works.”

    We must therefore develop some method for informing the staff of the U.S. department of commerce, the senators and the representatives, the ones making decisions, on how the situation is being experienced on our side of the border, so that they can at last grasp that we are not competitive with them in the least.

    This we need to do. It is very important for us to eventually arrive at a solution that is to our local industry's advantage. Things cannot continue the way they are.

    In my riding, at least 600 jobs have been lost. A loss of 600 jobs in a region like mine is the equivalent of 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 in a larger centre.

    It strikes me, therefore, as very important for this to be given a great deal of attention, because of all those direct and indirect jobs. The situation is a difficult one, but the Americans must not complicate it further by not properly understanding the situation and by their decisions, which smack of protectionism as well as a desire, as the giants that they are, to impose their will on everyone.

    I feel we must be able to stand up to them. As my colleague from Joliette has said, we must go to the United States and negotiate. We must not negotiate with petty functionaries, but with the top man, the president himself if need be. Our Prime Minister must make this his cause.

  +-(1540)  

    Perhaps he is seeking a cause, since I see we are not that busy in parliament. So perhaps the Prime Minister is looking for a cause. Let him set off on his pilgrimage with his pilgrim's staff. This time we will close our eyes to how much he spends on travel. He is the one who must go to the U.S. to settle the softwood lumber situation.

  +-(1545)  

[English]

+-

    Mr. Pat O'Brien (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to debate the issues put forward by the hon. member for Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques.

    The member's motion on softwood lumber is timely and important for all Canadians. The Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute is ongoing and it continues to be our country's latest trade concern with our neighbour to the south.

    Last week's decision by the U.S. department of commerce, while not surprising given its protectionist leanings, is punitive for our industry in terms of job loss and mill closures and for U.S. consumers who will pay needlessly high housing prices to cover unwarranted duties.

    This dispute, the fourth in 20 years, directly impacts hundreds of thousands of Canadian jobs and many more indirectly. Over 300 Canadian communities are at least 50% dependent on a strong lumber industry and on positive softwood lumber trade relations with the United States. Almost one million Canadians' livelihoods, or one in 16 jobs, are related to the lumber industry. Canadians in these communities know first hand of the impact that the U.S. trade action has on our country's economy, on their individual communities and on their families at home.

    I will speak today on what the Government of Canada has done to defend the interests of its industry and what it will do in the days ahead.

    Since the U.S. lumber industry petitioned the U.S. department of commerce in April of this year alleging that our industry is subsidized and is dumping lumber into the United States, the government has responded forcefully and clearly that these allegations are false and not based in fact. During the past 20 years three previous cases have not been sustained. Once again these allegations will be refuted. Based on protectionist sentiments, the U.S. industry's trade action has brought uncertainty, mill closures, job loss, reduced exports and lost opportunities to Canada's lumber industry.

    Having said this, let me say that we in Canada are not the only ones hurting. As a result of the U.S. trade action, American consumers are feeling the impact of a needless dispute. As a result of U.S. duties on our lumber, American consumers will have to pay higher lumber prices and, accordingly, increased housing costs. The United States will see reduced housing starts, the only shining light in a lagging economy, and a weakened ability of hundreds of thousands of Americans to buy a home.

    What impact does this have on those who want to purchase a home, a couple's first home, let us say, or on those who are concerned about affordable housing? The coalition American Consumers for Affordable Homes and other housing groups in the United States estimate that 32% duties on Canadian lumber will needlessly raise housing costs by up to $3,000.

    Incredibly, the levying of duties by the United States administration on Canadian producers will greatly hurt the U.S. public, who will have to pay up to four months' mortgage just to cover the cost of needless trade action against Canadian lumber producers. Ironically, in an attempt to satisfy big lumber interests in the United States, the U.S. department of commerce has indirectly hurt those who are bystanders in this trade dispute.

    In the face of the trade action and the difficulties it causes on both sides of the border, I would like to congratulate the many Canadian interests that have stood together prior to the investigation and since the trade action began in April. Canadian lumber producers, the provinces and territories and the Government of Canada have met regularly to determine the next steps. They have worked in a united fashion and have indicated in clear terms that we will fight the U.S. trade action based on the merits of our case, a case that has been successful for Canada many times before.

  +-(1550)  

    I am proud to say that our government has been active in defending our interests and in leading the way forward. To those say “what more can we do?”, I will summarize what we have done already and outline what we can do together in the near future.

    Our Prime Minister has frequently personally engaged President Bush on the trade dispute at every opportunity. As the Prime Minister said in the House today and as he has said repeatedly, he had the opportunity to raise this issue a week or so ago in Shanghai with President Bush and has committed to again in the next few days raise this issue with the U.S. president. Let there be no doubt that the Prime Minister is personally engaged in this issue in a most serious way and has repeatedly raised this matter with the American president.

    Our Minister for International Trade has forcefully made our case and has engaged in high level discussions on numerous occasions with commerce secretary Evans and U.S. trade representative Bob Zoellick. In answering a question in the House today, my colleague the Minister for International Trade indicated that he had met with the new special representative, Marc Racicot, appointed by President Bush. He indicated that they met earlier today and that Mr. Racicot now knows in no uncertain terms from the Minister for International Trade just exactly what are the concerns of the Canadian lumber producers, the Canadian workers and the Canadian government in this dispute.

    Our minister and officials have been holding regular federal-provincial meetings. I applaud the provincial governments for sticking together in tough times and for advancing our common interest with the Government of Canada.

    In order to counter protectionist views, we have built alliances with U.S. consumer groups and with companies that are dependent on Canadian lumber. For example, Home Depot, the large U.S. lumber retailer, has been a great supporter of our position and has actively lobbied members of the U.S. congress on the need for free trade in softwood lumber. That is the best answer: free trade in softwood lumber. Home Depot was instrumental in the recent team Canada mission to Atlanta. It has been a key player in the United States, advocating for free trade and not for trade action.

    In response to the U.S. allegations, the Government of Canada has filed over 250,000 pages of evidence refuting categorically U.S. industry allegations. We have helped individual companies prepare applications for exclusion from the countervailing duty investigation and recently submitted 334 applications to the U.S. department of commerce.

    Our embassy in Washington and our consulates across the United States have been very active in lobbying decision makers and in educating the American public on the impact that duties will have on them, U.S. consumers. To date, some 115 members of congress have agreed with the position of the Government of Canada. As well, many articles supporting the Canadian position have appeared in U.S. newspapers.

    This is a new phenomenon and a positive one compared to the last time we had this dispute with the United States. The American public and the American congress are more informed now and we are actively building and cultivating an alliance south of the border that supports us in arguing for free trade in softwood lumber. They just want their government to stand up to what it says it is and be a free trader in softwood lumber like it is when it chooses to be so in other commodities.

    Canada's answer to the preliminary determinations of subsidy of the United States department of commerce and to its trade action has been to level the playing field so that big U.S. lumber does not rule the day. Our decision to challenge the United States on its protectionist softwood lumber rulings before the World Trade Organization is the best means of achieving success for our industry once again.

  +-(1555)  

    I know that we are challenging U.S. law and department of commerce rulings on five separate measures before the WTO. Our challenges are directly related to softwood lumber and I am pleased that the WTO has already ruled in our favour with respect to log export policy. In conjunction with a dozen other countries we are challenging another measure of U.S. legislation that impacts softwood lumber, the infamous Byrd amendment. While we are fighting the countervailing duty case on its merits, the Government of Canada in conjunction with the provinces is working to seek the individual exclusion of hundreds of Canadian companies from this trade action. Our government's success in having all of Atlantic Canada's producers exempted from the subsidy case is a recent victory that we hope to extend to the many Canadian producers that should not even be considered a part of the United States trade concern.

    What are Canada's next steps? I agree with my colleague, the Minister for International Trade, and with the assessment of our industries and provinces that we should continue to fight the U.S. trade action with every single legal means at our disposal. Continued challenges before the WTO and a pending free trade agreement challenge of the U.S. relating to softwood lumber should also be in the works.

    The meetings and discussions with U.S. officials to try to find a long term solution to the situation between our two countries can only help, not hurt, our industry. The series of ongoing discussions is part of the two track approach to this problem that the government has been engaged in for some time now: litigate if necessary and start the procedure necessary to do that, but also discuss at the highest level, from the Prime Minister, to the minister, to officials both American and Canadian, involve the industry widely in consultation, which the minister has done, and involve the provinces widely as part of these discussions to see if we can find the root causes once and for all of what is it the Americans do not accept. They have been repeatedly proven to be incorrect when they challenge that we subsidize.

    Once and for all, let us get to the root problem. Let us come up with a solution that will be long term, that will give us free trade in softwood lumber and that will not find us back in these positions every few years fighting and winning this old battle once again, which is what we have had to do.

    We understand why the United States industry continues to make false claims about our industry. We know that its concerns are based on protectionism and fear of losing market share. This is all about market share. Our producers have an excellent product at a good price. They have managed to capture 34% of the U.S. market and the American producers do not like it. It is not the fault of our producers that they do such a great job. They want free trade, they deserve free trade and the government will continue to fight for free trade for all Canadians.

    While our exports have remained steady at about one-third of the U.S. market, this being the fourth attempt to erode our industry we know what the game is all about. We will not stand by while misinformation about our industry attempts to rule the day. Our government and indeed all MPs have a duty to set the record straight and defend the best interests of our industry. Our communities, the jobs that build them and the families that depend on a strong lumber industry deserve no less.

+-

    Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the ongoing softwood lumber dispute has a long and tangled history. My greatest frustration is the lack of urgency or hands on attention the Prime Minister has shown the dispute.

    I am not alone in this thinking. It is the opinion of a majority of forest industry workers, people representing forest communities and political participants. If it is observable to us that the Prime Minister is not fully engaged then it is surely observable to the U.S. administration and the U.S. special interest lumber lobby.

    Yesterday in the House of Commons during question period the Prime Minister said we had a softwood lumber agreement that worked for five years. It did not work. It led to a massive loss of investment and jobs. It led to distortions in the market that proved costly and divisive for producers and customers.

    We are in trouble when we expect leadership on our largest trade commodity and the person from whom we require leadership makes such uninformed statements.

    Last week the U.S. department of commerce announced a preliminary duty of 12.6% on top of an existing countervail duty of 19.3%, which brings it up to 32%. What did we hear from the Prime Minister? Did we witness a sense of urgency or direct action resulting from the announcement? I could ask the question again but I would not get much of an answer because we saw no urgency or direct action from the Prime Minister.

    The U.S. administration has in some respects been much more engaged than the Prime Minister although the U.S. department of commerce has not. The administration has appointed a representative, Mr. Marc Racicot from Montana. He is in Ottawa today.

    The Prime Minister assures us he is in communication every two or three weeks with the president and that he spent some time with him in China. That is the extent of it. I am embarrassed that the Prime Minister of Canada would stoop to suggest this would count for anything.

    I read that the Prime Minister finagled a photo opportunity with the U.S. president while in China. Once again I am embarrassed. This is not how a Prime Minister behaves. He should not seek a photo opportunity with an unwary president to look good at home while achieving nothing. This is serious business. Communities, workers, their families and enterprises are at risk and we get glibness from the Prime Minister.

    Let us talk about today. Today I asked the Prime Minister why he is not fully engaged. Once again he made reference to his overlap along with dozens of other leaders with the president of the United States in China. This was before last Wednesday's anti-dumping announcement.

    Is anybody home over there? Are we to believe that the Prime Minister is fully engaged on softwood lumber? I am not a lawyer but the evidence is overwhelmingly clear that he is not.

  +-(1600)  

    I cannot overemphasize how large and significant a problem this has been, is and will continue to be unless we witness a dramatic reversal. The dispute may be resolved or it may go to long winded litigation. Does the government have a contingency plan? Since it does not have a plan it probably does not have a contingency plan.

    I welcome the appointment by the U.S. of a representative on the softwood lumber dispute. I welcome the litigation announced yesterday by Canfor Corporation. Canfor announced its intention to file a $250 million legal suit under chapter 11 of NAFTA, claiming that the U.S. department of commerce has acted in a capricious and biased manner against its interests. This logic would apply to many other Canadian companies operating in the forest industry.

    This protection exists under NAFTA but some in the House of Commons argue it does not belong under NAFTA. The sum of these members resides in the New Democratic Party.

    This is the only way to get to a neutral body on this dispute. It is a good move on the part of a Canadian company to let the administration know that in the longer term biased behaviour from the U.S. department of commerce on what is clearly an unsubsidized industry is not acceptable.

    When we describe the dispute it is important to recognize that we have strong U.S. allies on this file. A consumer lobby has been in effect in the U.S. for the last two years which has been lobbying legislators and congress to make them aware of the negative impact of the dispute on their constituents, the American public, from the standpoint that putting tariffs on Canadian lumber going to the U.S. is costing American consumers.

    This is not a Canada-U.S. battle. It is a fight between Canada and the special interest U.S. lumber lobby. It is completely unproductive and unnecessary and it hurts both nations.

    In the longer term I am optimistic because the consumer movement in the U.S. represents 95% of lumber consumption. We have seen an expansion beyond lumber consumer groups into the larger consumer group involved in all aspects of the American economy which says the dispute is hurting everyone in the American economy whether or not they are lumber consumers. That is a positive move.

    In the longer term we will see U.S. protectionist legislation change. We may even see litigation deriving from some of the larger players in the consumer movement. I hope that occurs.

    Canada cannot alienate the U.S. consumer movement. Whatever we do in the settlement of this dispute we must be cognizant of that. Canada must also rule out any arrangement where we would end up going back to a quota arrangement.

  +-(1605)  

    The old quota arrangement for Canada's forest industry that has just expired was a negative one. After yesterday's comment by the Prime Minister it concerns me that it was called a good agreement. I suddenly have a new concern that the government might consider another quota arrangement.

    The Canadian Alliance has been pursuing free trade in lumber for a long time. The 1996 to 2001 softwood lumber agreement that recently expired created a softwood lumber quota system that cost Canada thousands of jobs. The federal government orchestrated the arrangement in 1996 with selected industry support. When the deal turned sour and its negative implications became clear to virtually everyone, the government washed its hands and said industry had made it do it.

    The Canadian Alliance took the issue seriously and set out a clear analysis and policy statement in June 2000. The Minister for International Trade finally came to a free trade position in March 2001, days before the softwood lumber agreement expired. Much of Canadian industry, the official opposition and American Consumers for Affordable Homes worked hard to ensure the softwood lumber agreement would not be renewed or extended when it expired on March 31.

    Canada cannot enter into any arrangement that would impair our competitiveness in the future or reinforce the belief in the U.S. that it could impose its will without concern for international trade rules. The Prime Minister has a strong role to play by talking to the Bush administration. The Prime Minister's Office should have no role in pushing a deal on to the minister against Canadian long term interests.

    Some American politicians in the U.S. department of commerce are pushing for a crushing victory for the U.S. lumber lobby. This is producer driven politics at its worst.

    What must the government do? The Prime Minister and his senior officials must continue to point out to the Bush administration the benefits of free trade in lumber. They must point out that Canadian industry is not subsidized. The Prime Minister must deliver on his promise that the U.S. cannot call for more Canadian energy while restricting Canadian lumber exports. He can do this in terms of any proposed continental energy discussions.

    Now is the worst possible time for governments or industry to concede to the U.S. lumber lobby. Canada has a strong case for free trade access before NAFTA and WTO trade tribunals and the U.S. lumber lobby knows it. Fifteen years of harassment have taken a major toll. If we do not get back to free trade now we will see further permanent job losses and loss of investment in the industry.

    Where do we go from here? We need a cost effective analysis to compare litigation with negotiation. I think we will find litigation comes out fairly well in the analysis.

    For example, the softwood lumber quota arrangement we all lived with for the past five years effectively cost industry in the range of 15% to 20% although there were haves and have nots depending on who had quota or duty free access and who did not. There was no fairness there.

    Now more than ever we need leadership and resolve from our Prime Minister and the federal government. The U.S. lumber lobby did not anticipate that Canada would hold out as long as it has. The U.S. lumber lobby has shown itself to be a self-serving special interest group contrary to the interests of both nations.

  +-(1610)  

    There is much pessimism today but there is room for optimism as well. We need to hold our alliance together. We need to fix this thing once and for all.

+-

    Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Vancouver East who comes from the province where the forestry industry, workers and their communities have been hardest hit by this ongoing softwood lumber crisis.

    I listened carefully to the comments of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade. I do not question for a moment that the parliamentary secretary shares with members on the opposition side the frustrations about this continuing, unresolved dispute.

    I do not question whether he is concerned about the impact that it is having on forestry workers and their families. Christmas is coming and some 16,000 workers have already lost their jobs in British Columbia alone. They do not having any idea about what will happen in the future. In fact they are losing hope for any possibility of getting up off their knees and working in the industry in which they have proven themselves to be highly skilled and competitive.

    I share with those workers the incredible frustration they feel when government members, including the Prime Minister, the trade minister and the parliamentary secretary, I am sorry to say, wring their hands and speak about how meritorious is the Canadian position.

    The government only deals with the symptoms. It is not willing to talk about the underlying causes, the root problems, the reasons we are in this difficult situation yet again. People are losing their homes and communities. They are literally faced with personal bankruptcy and in many cases family breakdown because of the pressures involved.

    It is high time for the government to speak about the reasons we are in this situation with the U.S. We will continue to be harassed as we have been time and time again unless we face the real problem: that we do not have a fair trade deal with the U.S. We will continue to face that kind of harassment until we have proper trade dispute mechanisms that can deal with this kind of unwarranted, unfair attack or until we are able to be highly competitive in various sectors.

    I had an opportunity to question the Prime Minister earlier this afternoon on his tough talk yesterday about finally getting up off his knees and standing up to the Americans on softwood lumber. Unfortunately it turns out that it appears to be a very temporary tough talk. Temporary indeed. It is not the first time we have heard this.

    The Prime Minister met with President George Bush after his election. He boasted that he had stood up to the American president on the issue of softwood lumber. Yet, to the embarrassment of not just the Prime Minister but all Canadians, the American president's own staff came forward and said that he actually did not say those things to the American president.

  +-(1615)  

    Once again we end up being a laughing stock. We end up being seen on the one hand as saying that we are prepared to fight for our forestry industry, our workers, their families and communities and on the other hand we backpedal like Olympic cyclists when it comes to following through on the concerns. That kind of bluffing and rhetoric, not backed up with solid actions, is a source of frustration.

    I was asked if I identify with the incredible frustration that those forestry workers and their families are feeling and facing at this time. Darned right I do.

    We have to begin to recognize that 16,000 jobs have already been lost in British Columbia alone. The prediction is that 30,000 jobs will be lost in that province. We know what a devastating blow that is to those families and to the entire economy. Some 50% of the impact is predicted to rip through British Columbia, but let us make no mistake. There will be a devastating impact on other communities across the country.

    Two weeks ago the government was talking as if it were on the verge of signing a new deal on softwood lumber. It appeared to be ready to step up to the plate and insist that the supposed free trade deal into which Canada entered in 1989 would be the start of a free trade deal relating to softwood lumber.

    The fact of the matter is that we have been hit with an even more punitive measure of an unwarranted 19.5% duty on the already imposed dumping levy of 12.5%. That cripples many of our lumber mills and forestry industry in many parts of the country.

    The reality is that the so-called free trade for which we paid a very heavy price over the years has turned out to be no such thing. We remember the sales pitch for the free trade agreement. This party stood alone, but there was also a lot of talk from the Liberals that they too were opposed to that flawed free trade agreement. Members will recall that in the early 1980s the U.S. tried and failed to get countervailing duties levied against Canadian lumber exports to the U.S.

    Ronald Reagan agreed to curb lumber imports from Canada when he was trying to get fast track authority from the U.S. congress. The U.S. set about putting in place a punitive tariff and warned that free trade talks would be in peril. The Mulroney government quickly succumbed to those pressures and agreed to impose an export tax of 15% on Canadian softwood lumber that remained in place for five years until 1991.

    In 1992 the U.S. imposed a 6.5% tax on Canadian softwood lumber which Canada appealed to a NAFTA panel. Canada won the appeal but still the U.S. pressure remained. The current Prime Minister, like Brian Mulroney, surrendered to U.S. power and agreed in 1996 to an escalating penalty on shipments in excess of 14.7 billion square feet.

  +-(1620)  

    IWA President Dave Haggard had it absolutely right when he said “We cannot capitulate our way into an acceptable agreement with the Americans”.

    It seems that when we win these disputes in international tribunals we lose. Why is this? It is because the U.S. is prepared to ignore, challenge or tie up in endless adjudication any case which it deems contrary to its domestic political interests. Softwood lumber has always been a powerful lever for U.S. harassment in Canada.

    Six months ago U.S. lumber interests were threatening to seek punitive duties of up to 40%. Then they upped the threat to 76% with the full support of Bush's trade representative Robert Zoellick who extols the benefits of free trade while advancing protectionism.

    We have again heard the trade minister and the Prime Minister huffing and puffing that Canada won those rounds before international tribunals. Yet we have ended up having to pay again for the privilege of free trade in softwood lumber.

    There could be no better way to sum up what the current situation is and what the best advice is to the government than to quote one of the B.C. forestry workers who came to state his solidarity and support for the NDP against this harassment of our softwood lumber industry. He said that negotiating on our knees is not working and it is high time that Canada stood up to the Americans.

+-

    Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to follow the leader of the NDP in the debate today who has spoken eloquently on this issue. The member for Halifax has been present in the House and has put a lot of pressure on the government to come clean on its softwood lumber agenda. She has attended many briefings and was at the NDP federal council meeting on October 14 when we passed an emergency resolution on the issue.

    This is an issue that is at the top of the agenda for members from B.C. in terms of expressing a very strong concern about what is taking place with the softwood lumber market.

  +-(1625)  

    I represent an urban riding in east Vancouver. There is a perception that this issue affects smaller communities that are dependent on the forestry industry, but there is no question that the forestry industry is an economic driver of urban communities as well. Jobs are affected in Vancouver as well as in smaller communities.

    This industry is the largest source of Canada's export earnings. It does about $10 billion in exports. It directly employs 350,000 Canadians and indirectly employs about one million Canadians in over 1,000 communities. It gives us an understanding of the significant impact and devastation taking place right across the country and certainly in British Columbia.

    As a result of the very unfair countervailing duties that have been dumped on the industry it is estimated that up to 30,000 jobs will be lost and as many as 90,000 additional jobs will be lost indirectly. This is absolutely staggering. These figures cannot be repeated often enough to understand the magnitude of what we are facing.

    In British Columbia alone 15 of 25 mills on the coast have been closed entirely due to the U.S. tariff, throwing about 12,000 people out of work. For example, three Doman mills were closed on Vancouver Island and 400 workers from Cowichan Bay, Ladysmith and Saltair have been put out of work. Hammond Cedar and two value added mills in Maple Ridge have been closed with another 450 workers losing their jobs. This closure has meant that Interfor, one of the major companies, has only 1,000 of its total 3,000 workforce currently employed.

    The issue that we have to grapple with and the issue we are confronting the government with is: What is the possible way forward? What is the government's agenda on this issue?

    The New Democrats have pressed the government to respond to this issue by making it a priority. It must recognize that it is the workers who need immediate assistance. They are either unemployed now or will be facing unemployment with enormous insecurity and anxiety.

    There is nothing in trade laws that would prevent the Canadian government from assisting workers who have been adversely affected. We only have to look at what happened on the east coast when the northern cod stock disappeared. Ottawa assisted displaced workers who were crushed by the collapse of the industry.

    We can look at the Mifflin plan and the restructuring that took place subsequent to the Mifflin plan. We had our criticisms about that program, but the Canadian government recognized the priority of what was going on and recognized that there were individual communities, families and workers who needed help.

    The government has been considering assistance to the airline and tourism industries as a result of what happened on September 11. We have to recognize that the lumber industry is the backbone of thousands of communities and is a very significant economic factor.

  +-(1630)  

    We in the NDP want to say loud and clear to the government that it cannot let the workers bear the brunt of this unfair trade action. It needs to step in immediately.

    Today in the House, my colleagues, the member for Churchill and the member for Acadie--Bathurst, asked with the government what support there would be for the workers who have been affected. The response they got was pathetic. The government says that there is EI. Well most workers consider EI to be a joke. They pay into it but they get nothing out of it when they are hurting and need help.

    When we confronted the Minister of HRDC today to ask whether she would provide a top up or income support to those workers, we heard some vague grumblings and it was back to EI.

    We in the NDP say that is not good enough. It is not just a sellout of our resources in terms of what is taking place with these unfair trade practices but it is also a sellout for workers who are now affected.

    It was interesting to note today that other members in the House from other parties were calling for a summit to be held for all the parties that are affected. Members of my party have also raised this matter on other days. In listening to the response from the trade minister, I noticed that he was very reluctant to specifically deal with that issue. It led me to wonder what exactly the government's position was on this.

    Does anyone actually understand what the government's position or strategy is for dealing with this?

    We know the U.S. has appointed a special envoy. We know the minister apparently had a very nice meeting today. However, when we cut through all the rhetoric, does any of us really have an understanding of the government's plan and of what it is actually going to do?

    Having listened to the debate today and in earlier days, I really do not have an understanding on what the government is prepared to do specifically to get us out of the mess, to make this a priority and to help the communities that have been affected.

    We in the New Democratic Party want to be very clear and say that it is incumbent upon the government, in working in consultation with opposition parties, to have a game plan. I think have heard other members in the House say that today. It is not just me who is wondering where is the game plan. I think we are all feeling like that.

    We want to say that the words “this is a crisis” and “this is a problem” are simply not good enough. We want to know what the government is proposing to do to negotiate, to make this a priority and to make sure that these unfair trade deals are put aside. It needs to negotiate a settlement that will support what has already been proven in international tribunals, that Canada is not dumping into the U.S. market.

    I want to put forward a message to the B.C. government. The IWA and other organizations have an enormous concern that as this crisis begins to unfold it would be very easy for this provincial government or another provincial government to be picked off.

    We want to say very loudly and clearly again that this is another key reason why the federal government must develop a national response and a national strategy to ensure that, for example, the B.C. government does not completely capitulate to American interests by giving away protection to workers, the tying up of manufacturing to harvest rights or increasing raw log exports.

    We are very concerned that while this crisis continues if the federal government does not step in and show the leadership that it needs to show, then we will have provinces, whether it is British Columbia or elsewhere, cutting deals and basically ripping off the workers in those communities.

    In closing I want to say that it is good we are having this debate but we want the government to tell us its plan, its strategy to deal with the crisis and where its support is for the workers in the communities.

  +-(1635)  

    It is not good enough for the minister to say that he met the CEOs and that he has been in contact with them. The livelihoods of thousands and thousands of people are at stake and we want to know what the government will do to protect those communities.

[Translation]

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    Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this debate. I want to congratulate the Bloc Quebecois for bringing this issue forward.

[English]

    I will be sharing my time this afternoon with the member for Saanich--Gulf Islands.

    As the hon. member who just finished speaking said, this is literally a life and death issue for thousands of Canadians who live and work in rural areas and in the forest industry right across Canada.

    I do not know if the Prime Minister has been out to talk to the Canadians, whose jobs are in jeopardy, on this issue, but I have been and my colleagues have been. This is a real threat, both to a major Canadian industry and to men, women and families who count on the government to protect their interests when they are unfairly attacked.

    Many of the workers in this industry have been laid off already. Many of our companies, small and large, simply cannot stay in business with their money locked up in American hands. Now they have the additional burden of dumping duties that are both severe and unjustified.

    Two months ago, I went directly from meetings with British Columbia lumber producers to take Canada's case to Washington myself. I told Vice-President Cheney that this dispute, serious in itself, also risks undermining support in Canada for the very principle of free trade. I committed my colleagues to supporting a reasonable agreement either in Canada or at the World Trade Organization.

    However, two months later, the Government of Canada has not moved this issue forward at all. As on so many cases, the only imaginative leadership has come from some of the provincial governments.

    The Government of Canada cannot claim to be surprised. It knew the dumping decision was coming. It knew the former agreement was expiring and yet it sat back and let small Canadian sawmills and ordinary Canadian workers suffer because Ottawa was asleep at the switch.

    The United States is the main customer of Canada's softwood lumber industry. We ship $11 billion of softwood lumber to the U.S. each year.

    The latest blow to the industry was the imposition of dumping duties of 12.57%. It may be that the Prime Minister knows he lost credibility with the White House when he was so slow to respond to the terrorist crisis, but the answer to that is to build that credibility up again.

    The Prime Minister has to act, not sulk. He has to rebuild Canada's relations with the United States, not force the thousands of Canadians who work in the softwood lumber industry to suffer because of his indifference.

[Translation]

    There are two important points to raise with regard to free trade. The first one is that softwood lumber is not directly covered by the free trade agreement.

    However, when the softwood lumber issue was examined in the context of the free trade agreement, Canada won. We also win most times before the World Trade Organization, even though these processes are extremely complex.

    The problem today is that the United States has managed to circumvent the spirit of the free trade agreement. This means that we must strengthen the agreement and not let it go, because such free trade agreements are essential to the growth of the Canadian economy.

    I would like to raise a second point and indicate that the problem is the result of an attack from American interest groups and not American consumers. On the contrary, American consumers support our position since we offer them a product at a much lower cost.

    The terrible thing is that the government could have prevented this problem, had it been effective in mobilizing American consumers, our supporters, to counter the efforts of lobbyists employed by the American softwood lumber industry.

    The Canadian government has simply failed in that regard. We have a passive government that does not defend the interests of the average Canadian. This government is drifting at a time when we need a strong and active government that is not afraid to vigorously defend Canada's interests against the United States.

  +-(1640)  

[English]

    Of course the issue is complicated. Provincial jurisdictions are involved. The interests of the industry vary from region to region. It makes sense to seek a united front on this issue but the national government cannot simply sit back on issues of this kind. One of the reasons we have a federal government is to take the lead in solving complicated issues. On this question, as on so many other questions, there has been no one home at 24 Sussex Drive.

    Three fundamental failures by the government stand out. The first is a failure to foresee. The government knew the five year softwood lumber agreement was due to expire at the end of March this year and that we would be subject again to countervail, yet it took no effective steps to stop a countervail or to protect Canadian interests. It was as ill-prepared for this action as it was for the terrorist attacks, yet in this case it had five years warning.

    The second is a failure to bring together the Canadian industry in a common position that Canada could carry aggressively to the United States. Instead, the minister preferred to rely on persuading Robert Zoellick, the American trade representative, who everyone knew would be of scant help to Canada because his major priority was to get, what used to be called, fast track authority on other larger trade issues from the very congressmen who support the softwood attack on Canada.

    The third is the Prime Minister's personal failure to solve the dispute at the very highest level. The Prime Minister claims he has raised this with President Bush. He claims he is on the phone all the time. He should get off the phone and get on the road. The Prime Minister should take Canada's case directly to the president of the United States. That is where this issue will be solved.

    As long as the Prime Minister of Canada sits back and lets people in the softwood lumber industry across Canada lose their jobs and lose their hopes then this issue will not be solved.

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    Mr. Gary Lunn (Saanich--Gulf Islands, PC/DR): Mr. Speaker, this is the second emergency debate we have had on this issue in just over a month. The duties imposed by the U.S. commerce department now total roughly 32%. I do not know what it will take to get people in the government to listen. We just cannot keep having more and more emergency debates without any action.

    This is the fourth round of trade litigation on this file since 1982. Fifteen of the past eighteen years have seen the lumber market disrupted by threats of countervailing duty. Canada defeated countervailing and anti-dumping allegations in 1982 and again in 1991. I have no doubt that we will prevail again.

    The issue is that the litigation process can take years and these families will be facing bankruptcy and personal losses because people are losing their jobs. Again, there will be hardships on families and the destruction of relationships. We cannot even measure that toll.

    There is plenty at stake. An estimated one out of 16 Canadians work in the forest sector. Of 337 communities in Canada, more than 50% of the people in those communities depend on the forestry industry for survival. More than 384,000 Canadians are directly employed in logging, wood industries and paper. The death of our lumber industry will create ghost towns across the country. With the stakes so high, where do we go?

    Although there is no question we are morally and legally right, it is never easy to face the economic might of America. We must act in concert. We must think in long term. We must make use of our allies in the United States. We must present our position from the highest level, and I want to emphasize that.

    In question period today the Prime Minister talked about being engaged on this file. The Minister for International Trade said the government was doing everything it could, that the Prime Minister was engaged on it and that more people were involved. I want to emphasize that it is not working.

    In the 18 year history, have we had 32% tariffs? Have we had 20,000 people out of work and going up to 50,000 people? Have we had people declaring bankruptcy? Have we had families being torn apart? No. It is not working.

    If members would come to my province of British Columbia, they would see the human toll that this has caused. There is no other trade issue right now facing this country. The Prime Minister has to make this his number one priority.

    We had a quota of 14.7 billion board feet in the past. In the past we were restricted on the softwood lumber agreement. What I am suggesting right now is that another bad deal like we had in the softwood lumber agreement is worse than no deal at all. The facts speak for themselves.

    The provinces were covered under the softwood lumber agreement in the past, from 1995 to 1999. Their market share fell by 14.5%. The market share of regions which were not covered in the softwood lumber agreement rose by 130%. Third countries increased their market share by 106%. What happened? Canadians lost with the bad deal which was as a result of the Liberal government.

    During the five years of the softwood lumber agreement, what was it supposed to do? It was supposed to give the government an opportunity to find a long lasting solution. Government members sat on their hands. By their own admission, they did nothing. They said that we had to wait until the agreement expired before they could challenge it, instead of being united, having one voice taking the message to Washington, at the very highest level, and letting the Americans know that this action was not acceptable.

    We have many allies in the United States. More Americans support free trade than support the protectionist, bullying tactics of the U.S. lumber industry.

  +-(1645)  

    In fact American consumers of forest products and lumber dependent industries in the United States outnumber lumber producing industries by a factor of 18 to 1. Lumber tariffs hurt American housing starts and slow its economy. Ultimately the attempts by the lumber lobby to close access to American markets hurt more Americans than it helps.

    On August 14 an editorial in the Wall Street Journal stated:

Let's hope the Bush Administration recognizes this irony and abandons its unsophisticated South Park strategy of blaming our friends to the north for our own lack of competitiveness.

    One U.S. consumer group referred to the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports as “one of the biggest multi-million dollar bullies on the international trade playground, and it's about time everybody stopped tripping over themselves to appease them”.

    To date 100 members of the United States congress have asked President Bush to protect the interests of consumers and workers from potentially onerous import duties seeking to limit the amount of lumber imported from Canada.

    We do have friends in the United States. Unfortunately they have been speaking louder than our own government. Some of the lobby groups in the United States have been doing a better job fighting for the Canadian forestry workers than our own Prime Minister. This is not acceptable. It has to change.

    Of course the Prime Minister will say the government has been doing everything. I say look at the facts. Look at the job losses. Look at the duties that are being paid in the country today. Nine million dollars a day is what is being paid in unfair lumber duties because of the ineffective ability of the government.

    It gets worse. There is the Byrd amendment. It is a piece of U.S. legislation wherein the money that is collected by the U.S. government from Canadian forest companies, at the rate of 32%, is passed on to the U.S. lumber industry that filed the complaint against Canada. I questioned the parliamentary secretary on that specific fact in the House on October 4. Of course he stood up in the House and advised that the Bush administration had suspended that amendment. He was wrong. I accept that.

    The point I am trying to make is he is being advised by Canada's trade officials. When mistakes as elementary as this are made on such an important issue, it does not give confidence to our lumber industry. It sends a message that the government does not have its act together and that officials are not on this file. Where is the Prime Minister? We have to think in the long term.

    Marc Racicot, the United States trade envoy, was in Canada today. He stated that he hoped for a solution within 30 to 45 days. It is not surprising that the United States seeks a resolution to resolve this issue. On December 15 the 19.3% countervail will expire and cannot be reinstated for at least two months.

    How can we get a fair deal quickly? The Prime Minister has to do more than he is doing now. The phone calls are not enough. I was outraged by the first 10 or 15 minutes of question period today. Members were making jokes and laughing. They were talking about people shaking their hair. Everyone was laughing and having a great time. That is not--

    An hon. member: That is not so.

    Mr. Gary Lunn: Government members participated. The Prime Minister got involved. Everyone on the other side was laughing. People are losing their houses, their jobs and families are being torn apart. I emphasize that. There are tens of thousands of workers.

    We need the highest level of intervention. We need a Prime Minister to pay more than lip service. We need a Prime Minister who will recognize that this matter deserves a flight to Washington. He should stay there until it is resolved. He should make sure the Americans knows the past and know that this is not acceptable.

    I will close by saying that, although the U.S. lumber envoy is looking for a four to six week window, this matter has to get resolved this year.

  +-(1650)  

    Next year is not good enough. The toll will be absolutely immense across the entire country. The person who needs to get engaged is the Prime Minister. He has a duty and an obligation to resolve this matter. I ask him to quit playing games in the House, to quite making jokes and to take this matter seriously. I ask him to think about the human toll, the families and the cost to this country and its economy.

+-

    Mr. Joe Comuzzi (Thunder Bay--Superior North, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the Minister for International Trade who will follow me in this debate.

    It is a privilege to participate in this debate today inasmuch as it may be the most serious economic matter that is facing our country and has faced our country since April 1 of this year. It continues to be a very strong irritant in our relations with our friends in the United States.

    I keep repeating this, but the forestry industry is still Canada's largest single industry. It employs more Canadian men and women than any other single industry. It contributes more to the balance of payments with our friends in the United States than any other single industry in our country. It is Canada's foremost and most vital industry. Canada was born on the forestry trade and it still is the backbone of what we are as an economic unit in world trade. It goes without saying how important the forestry industry is to us.

    We are faced, as we have been over the last 15 years or so, with that horrible dilemma of having to defend ourselves again because of the unfair subsidies that the Americans claim are being forced upon them, causing unfair competition and anti-dumping in their country. As we know, and as we have proven over the last 15 years, this is so untrue.

    In this instance, by the very fact that the Americans have launched this claim against us again, it is no different from any other action. Our industry started to suffer the moment the claim was launched by the United States on April 2. All of a sudden our banking facilities became weaker. People who financed us did not want to continue with their financing.

    People who are creative of new innovations, which we are so good at and of which we should be so proud, are no longer spending money on research and development to enhance our forestry industry. This is one of the few instances where we see that the start of an action is where the penalty begins. That is why it is so important that we bring this to a conclusion.

    I agree with everybody in the House that it has gone on too long. There are many people in the Chamber who say we should have done some other things. Maybe we should have prepared for the advent of the ending of the softwood lumber agreement a couple of years ago. That may be true.

    Other people have said we should have been at the World Trade Organization long before we were and used the new procedures under the World Trade Organization for an accelerated process. That may be true. There could be other things we could have done.

    In the area I represent, which is Thunder Bay--Superior North, the most vital industry is the forestry industry and the softwood lumber industry. I can say unequivocally that from the time we have been involved the Prime Minister has said that this is the most important file that he has on his desk. He wants the file resolved and will do most anything to get it resolved. He is abreast of developments. We talk on a regular basis about the softwood lumber dispute and how concerned he is about it.

    We can be partisan, but I have to come to his defence in this sense. He is very cognizant of everything that is happening with this file and truly wants to see a solution to it. He knows the injury it has caused our companies because of the actions by the United States.

  +-(1655)  

    One of the important issues we may not have considered is the issue of ownership of all these companies involved in the forestry industry in our country. It is something that we as parliamentarians sometimes fail to realize. Although we have these huge corporations that through management rights, timber limits and so on claim they own the forests and would like to think so, they do not.

    Every tree in Canada is owned by every Canadian. Since forestry is under provincial jurisdiction, all the trees in British Columbia are owned by the people of British Columbia. All the trees in Alberta are owned by the people of Alberta. All the trees in Quebec are owned by the people of Quebec. All the trees in Ontario are owned by the people of Ontario. That is critical to our debate. Unless people feel they are getting advantages out of owning this huge natural resource, the advantages of having and living a better quality of life, they are not interested in carrying on with the ownership of these companies. What we have to do is guarantee our people that they will have a better quality of life because of these natural resources.

    Having said that, let me say that sometimes we have to be parochial. As we know, over 8,000 people in northwestern Ontario rely directly on the forestry industry. We have to get parochial about Ontario because we know, Mr. Speaker, you and I, that we do not subsidize in any way, shape or form the harvesting of trees, thereby not giving an unfair advantage to anyone. If there is an advantage through the stumpage rates in Ontario it goes to the people of Ontario. We in Ontario are very comfortable with having any kind of review of the stumpage rates in the province of Ontario.

    I would like to impress this upon the minister, because I think it is his position. In the discussion process being taken on today with the former governor of Montana, since forestry is a provincial jurisdiction Ontario should retain its right, in any discussions and any proposed settlement, to carry on with the eventual goal that we have all agreed on in this House. We have agreed that it is time we had free trade in lumber under the NAFTA rules without using the areas of NAFTA under chapter 19, the dispute resolution mechanism on anti-dumping and the countervail. We in Ontario reserve the right to make this determination.

    The U.S. has started the fight. We must take this determination to its final conclusion. We can have a review and go to the World Trade Organization. Let us carry our position forward to an eventual resolution. I am sure the Prime Minister, the Minister for International Trade and the opposition would agree that we must finally have free trade with the United States. We can do this if we stay together as a nation, as provinces. It can be accomplished and it has to be accomplished now. There should be no further argument with respect to free trade in lumber going to the United States.

  +-(1700)  

[Translation]

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    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Thunder Bay--Superior North for sharing his time with me. He shared with us his perspective, which is very interesting and which reflects the tremendous importance that we in government have given to building a strong team Canada, with involved provinces and an industry that is closely consulted.

    I believe that our team Canada, our united front right now vis-à-vis the U.S., and American producers in particular, will be a determining factor. I would like to thank all those who have been working on the softwood lumber issue, the provincial governments, industry and representatives who shared their perspectives with us. It was all very useful.

    I would also like to thank my colleagues, members, from both sides of the House, who came to Washington and who demonstrated in no uncertain terms to the Americans that their own best interests were served by free trade in softwood lumber, by having access to Canada's quality product at the best possible price, especially at a time when the economy is faltering as is now the case.

[English]

    I am really very pleased to respond to the motion put forward by the member for Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup--Témiscouata--Les Basques.

    The U.S. commerce department decision last week to add a 12.5% tariff on dumping on top of the 19.3% countervailing duty was a very punitive and unjustified gesture. This is a finding which is completely unjustified. I have conveyed my views to U.S. secretary of commerce Evans and I will continue to argue that very strongly.

    I would like to thank the provincial ministers and the industry for the support and co-operation they have shown in presenting a common and united front in the defence against these unfounded actions. I can tell the House that I believe we will be able to make a lot more progress as a united team than otherwise.

    I had the opportunity of meeting with former governor Racicot today, a close ally of the president of the United States and a good friend of his. He is a man who knows the issues very well. He is a man who can listen, who can go beyond the prejudices the American producers have about crown lands in Canada and look at the reality of the file. I believe he is someone we can really work with. I appreciate as a very positive signal his appointment by the president of the United States.

    Too, I would like to say in the House how very supportive the Prime Minister of Canada has been on the file. The Prime Minister has not lost one opportunity even in very delicate times, such as his first meeting after September 11 with President Bush, to raise the situation of the softwood lumber issue.

    I had many discussions over last weekend with chief executive officers from British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, who told me that in 20 years they had never seen a Prime Minister so completely and personally engaged on the softwood lumber file. They said that the previous prime minister would never have been that deeply involved. I would like to thank the Prime Minister for being so supportive.

    The government is extremely sensitive to what is happening in the communities across our country that are most dependent on softwood lumber. I had the opportunity this very afternoon to talk to mayor Colin Kinsley of Prince George, British Columbia. I had the pleasure of talking with mayor Jamie Lim of Timmins, Ontario. I am very pleased to see that they are here with us in the House today. They have explained very well what their communities are going through. I know there are dozens of other communities that live with the same situation. I would like to tell them that the government realizes how very punitive and unfair it is to them and that it affects other workers beyond the softwood lumber people, because of course whole communities are affected by it.

  +-(1705)  

    I want to thank them for having come here to explain to us how much they support our work, how much they are part of that team Canada and how much of our problem is protectionism in the United States, protectionist producers in the United States, that it is not east and west. I am glad that they are the mayor of Timmins, Ontario and the mayor of Prince George, British Columbia, provinces from both the centre and west. The regions do not count here. What really counts is that we remain together in promoting free trade in softwood lumber. I believe it is imperative that we go in this direction and of course the discussions in which we have been engaged have been very useful.

[Translation]

    We had these discussions on the basis of provincial practices. I hear opposition members say “Why are we letting the provinces explain their views to the Americans?” The answer is very simple. In 90% of the cases, the allegations made by U.S. producers concern provincial programs.

    Our government's way of doing things is to have the Minister for International Trade lead and co-ordinate these discussions with the Americans, but we also have at the table those responsible for forest management practices in our country.

    The way to free trade is to make sure that, beyond the slogans and biases that Americans may have about the crown lands that are part of our Canadian fabric and our way of doing things, we have forest practices that are fair and equitable.

[English]

    I want to congratulate the provincial Government of British Columbia, which has had the audacity and the courage to really tackle this issue and really wants to do constructive work for the long term by addressing the reality of its provincial practices, to do the right thing for its industry, not to please the Americans. No, we want to do the right thing for Canadians, but we realize that by addressing and improving these forestry management practices we might be denying the Americans many of their arguments, their prejudices and the allegations they are making. I want to say that I have appreciated its contribution a great deal.

[Translation]

    I am also very pleased that the Quebec government agreed to take part in these discussions. To be sure, the dispute resolution system is there. The hon. member for Thunder Bay—Superior North said it earlier, we are before the WTO to challenge the allegations made by Americans, because we know full well that they do not make any sense. We also know that we will win if we go to the end of the process.

    However, in the meantime, there are communities that are really suffering. This is why we are also trying to find a human and long term solution that is leading us toward free trade, by solving the issues that may exist regarding free trade, and by making sure that we will have a large common market open to free trade, as we do for the rest. I think we have accomplished an enormous amount of work in recent months.

  +-(1710)  

[English]

    I am extremely impressed by where we are as a country at this moment. The times are difficult. It is very tough to be met with the punitive actions that Americans have imposed on us on the softwood lumber issue but this is not the time to blink. We are committed to free trade in the long term. In years to come we will be very pleased to have addressed the issues at its very heart. That takes some time and I know how hard it is in the communities. I am begging people for a little patience. I know how tough it is but I can tell everyone that this is the number one priority of our government. This is the number one priority in the U.S.-Canada agenda of our Prime Minister and of the Minister for International Trade.

    I can tell members that following the meeting I had today with representative Racicot I do believe that the discussions track might really lead us to a constructive long term solution, which is softwood free trade. That is what we deserve.

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    Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a member representing thousands and thousands of constituents who are facing job loss as a result of the government's mishandling of the softwood lumber file.

    It was nice to hear that the minister met with the former governor today and that he is enthusiastic about that. It was nice to hear that he was speaking today to some mayors from across Canada. It was also nice to hear him say that he was impressed by where we are as a country today on this issue.

    However I submit to the minister and to his government that we have known for a long time that this agreement was going to be up and that we should have started these talks two years ago because, as I mentioned, I have thousands of people in my constituency out of work today.

    Not only are we facing a general economic slowdown across the country but also, through the government's inactivity, Canada is facing a prospect of losing a further 15,000 jobs in the forestry sector. This is on top of the estimated 15,000 jobs already lost because of the government's handling of the softwood lumber file.

    Just last week we heard the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade calling British Columbia lumber leaders and workers nervous Nellies.

    I submit that someone losing his or her job has strong cause to be nervous. If the parliamentary secretary were losing his job tomorrow would he not be nervous? If the major employer in his riding was going under would he not be nervous?

    Forest workers are worried about how they are going to pay their mortgages and how they are going to feed and clothe their families. They are wondering how and when they will get back to work. That is why this file should have been opened up a couple of years ago, not eight months after the contract was over.

    I am sure a mill worker in Squamish, British Columbia is pleased to know that the parliamentary secretary of this government is taking such a personal interest in the situation. I invite the parliamentary secretary to come to British Columbia to tour a mill and hear the reaction firsthand. I hear the parliamentary secretary saying that he already has. I invite him to come to my constituency with me because I probably have more papermills and more people cutting down trees than most constituencies in British Columbia. I would love for him to come there and sit down, as I have, and talk to those people and see how concerned they are.

    Before I finish today, I will read some letters from a few of those people from my constituency.

    These workers, their families and the communities are the innocent victims in a ridiculous trade dispute between the two countries that are supposed to be best friends. I agree with the minister, this is a ridiculous dispute.

    The 19.3% countervailing duty has already cost an estimated 15,000 Canadian jobs and forced the shutdown of dozens of mills. Many lumber producers are now facing a 12.58% anti-dumping duty on top of the countervailing duty. Export duties on Canada's lumber industry now total 31.9%. What industry can afford an additional one-third in costs?

    The government was urged almost two years ago to begin addressing this issue, knowing full well that the five year softwood lumber agreement was soon to expire, yet the Prime Minister and the international trade minister failed to act or even recognize the importance of engaging the United States early on.

    So here we are, some eight months after the expiry of the agreement, Rome burning around us, and all the government can say is that everything is under control. To quote the minister, he said that he was impressed by where we are in Canada today.

    Analysts suggest that job losses resulting from the countervailing and anti-dumping duties could reach more than 30,000 as more companies are forced to post bonds covering what they would have to pay if duties are made final next March. Let me repeat that 30,000 jobs have been lost or threatened and still the government dithers.

    Thirty thousand job losses means hardship for workers, bankruptcy for small businesses that serve their communities and the eventual destruction of some of these communities.

    Since last week we are already feeling the impact of the additional punitive duties.

    In the past week, Interfor closed its Hammond Creek cedar mill in Maple Ridge, putting 450 people out of work, along with the primary mill, two remand mills, McDonald Cedar and Albion, will also close.

  +-(1715)  

    Forestry company Tembec is closing its mill at Cranbrook, British Columbia next week as a result of the latest U.S. penalties on Canada's softwood lumber. The Quebec Lumber Producer said Friday that it would shut down the mill in southeastern B.C. on Monday, affecting another 37 jobs.

    Norseskog is shutting down mills. Shutdowns are planned at the company's mills in Crofton, Elk Falls, Port Alberni and Powell River.

    Over 500 more job losses in less than a week, and this looks like just the beginning. Yet from the government we see nothing but an inadequate response. We have dismissive attitudes and even insults.

    The government is standing by and allowing the very lifeblood to be sucked out of the province of British Columbia. The forest industry in B.C. is B.C.'s number one industry and is a huge economic generator. It contributes more than $4 billion a year in revenue and taxes, and employs more than 270,000 people, directly and indirectly.

    The government pays more to turbot than it does to lumber. It pays more attention to split run magazines than it does to lumber. It pays more attention to Bombardier than it does to lumber in British Columbia. It pays more attention to a mismanaged national airline than it does to workers in British Columbia. If any of these were losing 3,000 jobs, let alone 30,000, the government would jump. Why is the forest sector being treated differently?

    I heard a member from the other side say that it is not fair to compare. I am from western Canada and I am telling him that it is damn fair to compare because we see it too often. It is a long way from British Columbia to downtown Ottawa. These people in my riding are out of work. They cannot buy shoes for their kids. Christmas is coming up. There are 30,000 of them, not 3,000. We have seen the government operate a lot quicker closer to the central Ottawa area than it does in British Columbia.

    The Prime Minister's response has been tepid at best. He is travelling to Vancouver this week, not to calm the fears of workers in communities but to hold a Liberal fundraising dinner. He is going to the province where the number one industry is getting the stuffing kicked out of it and he is going asking for money. It is a cruel and insensitive twist but a glowing example of the government's lack of understanding of the issue and of its compassion for jobless British Columbians.

    We can almost get the sense that the government gets some perverse pleasure out of encouraging western alienation. Why else would such a double standard be applied to such a significant part of our export economy?

    Yesterday Canfor Corporation took aggressive action in the softwood dispute. With patience straining, forced into a corner and abandoned by the federal government, Canfor Corporation initiated a lawsuit under chapter 11 of NAFTA against the United States for $250 million, the amount it is losing in this protracted exercise. Canfor Corporation and other lumber companies will be on their knees before the government acts.

    Let us not be deluded here. The Canada-U.S. trade relationship is the largest in the world and forest products make up the largest part of that relationship. What we are talking about here is the largest export market in the world for any product anywhere. We are talking about a $44.2 billion a year export market, of which 31% is lumber. For those in the government not paying attention, that means lumber accounts for almost $15 billion a year in exports from Canada.

    Lumber exports alone are double our agriculture and fishing exports. They are almost equal to our energy exports. Our Prime Minister has time to contemplate a North American energy policy while at the same time ignoring an industry of equal size.

    Where is the logic in the government's trade policy? Why is it so hard for the government to understand? What the government does not realize is that if our lumber industry suffers we all suffer.

    Canada needs to act now to protect these thousands of jobs at risk. It needed to act two years ago, not when we are into this panic situation.

    The government must make solving the softwood problem its number one trade and economic priority. We cannot wait years for a litigated decision. We cannot afford to spend years at the WTO just to have the Americans change the rules of the game once again.

    How many times do we have to beat them before we can sit down with them between Prime Minister and president and solve this problem?

  +-(1720)  

    I agree with what the Prime Minister said today about natural gas. We are all paying more for gas in western Canada because of free trade. We agreed to pay the same price as the highest bidder anywhere that bought our natural gas in North America. Because the people in the southern United States like our natural gas we are shipping a lot to them, and we are all paying a little more for it. That is part of free trade. It is part of what we do as brothers and sisters living on a continent that we all share, but the softwood lumber agreement is not sharing.This agreement is to help a few Americans but not even the masses.

    Many hardworking Americans trying to buy their first homes will be gouged another $1,000, $2,000 or maybe even $3,000. Has our government taken ads out on American television to tell those consumers that this is what some of their wealthy people, people like former President Carter, are pushing on Canada? Why have we not gone after them to tell Canadians and Americans the facts of this matter?

    The American Lumber Coalition has said that if it loses at the WTO it will just turn around and lobby for a rewrite of its trade laws. It has definitely declared that it will not be bound by international trade laws. Its actions to date have proven that because we have won every case up to now.

    Three times Canada has fought for free trade at the international level. Three times we have won and three times the Americans have changed the rules. Why should this time be any different? Does the government enjoy being made to look like the fool?

    British Columbians and other Canadians employed in the lumber industry cannot wait. Mortgages cannot wait. We sit here in these wonderful buildings. We all make good incomes. We all have guaranteed salaries for another two or three years but tonight 15,000 people in British Columbia, with Christmas coming, are wondering how they are going to make their mortgage payments. Their kids cannot wait. Credit card bills cannot wait. These people are no different than we are. They have credit card bills and other things and we are not doing anything to help them while they are in this situation.

    It is time the government recognizes the country's dependency upon the forestry industry. It is time the government recognizes that there is a country west of Ontario.

    Forest industry workers across the country want the government to finally turn its attention to the problem. Simply waiting for the lawyers is not enough. I urge the Prime Minister to direct the Minister for International Trade to enter into serious negotiations with the United States to end this problem before it is too late for the communities in my riding.

    I urge the Prime Minister to instruct the minister responsible to consult regularly the provincial ministers, particularly the British Columbia minister of forests who seems to have a clearer understanding of the issue than the Minister for International Trade. The government might say that the provincial ministers were here today, yes, but where were they here two years ago?

    The question is not what we are doing today. The government can say that it met with the governor and the ambassador today, and that the Prime Minister talked to the president in Shanghai, but where was the government two years ago when it knew this problem was going to be here? Perhaps it was more concerned about winning another election than getting at the real issues of the country.

    The government allowed the last softwood lumber agreement to lapse without a plan. The government has allowed our largest export industry to suffer immeasurable harm without any consideration for the impact on the lives of those Canadians who are suffering. Now foolish pride refuses to allow the minister responsible to take the necessary action to reach a negotiated settlement quickly. Tough talk is easy when one is not impacted but the loggers and mill workers in British Columbia cannot wait for the minister's ego to deflate.

    I urge the Prime Minister to direct the minister to move negotiations to the next level or assign the file to someone more suited to the task. I am sure the forest industry and the forest workers would not begrudge the Prime Minister for recognizing the current minister's failure on this file and assigning the task to someone with a better understanding of the industry and its importance to our country.

    Canada cannot afford the loss of 30,000 taxpayers. Small communities cannot afford the loss of 30,000 consumers and their families. Families cannot afford the loss of 30,000 wage earners.

    I have received expressions of concern today from some 15,000 B.C. forest workers who face unemployment, the ones that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade called nervous Nellies. This is the human side of the softwood lumber crisis.

  +-(1725)  

    Before I close, I would like to read some concerns of constituents which include signatures on petitions and signatures on cards and letters collected on weekends over the last couple of weeks in shopping centres in British Columbia, mostly in my riding. These arrived today by Federal Express. One says:

I am a concerned citizen of the community of Squamish that is concerned about the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. This dispute is about more than lumber, it's about jobs, communities, and families.

A 19.3% duty on softwood lumber exports is unfair, unjustified and wrong. Cedar products should be excluded from this dispute completely, as they have nothing to do with structural building products.

    That is a fact. It goes on:

We urge you to beat this situation with great urgency and ensure that all stakeholders are represented with a strong, unified free trade position.

    There are cards addressed to the Prime Minister and to the minister. Another letter addressed to the Prime Minister reads:

I am profoundly concerned about the future of the western red cedar (WRC) industry in Canada. Thousands of jobs will be lost unless the Canadian government acts now to have WRC removed from the current U.S. trade action against Canadian softwood lumber. Already thousands of people have been laid off as a result of the 19.3% duty imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Aug. 10, 2001.

As you know, the U.S. lumber dispute with Canada is over structural products, like 2x4s. WRC is not a structural product. It is a high-value appearance product that is more than triple the price of U.S. structural wood products. The U.S. needs our cedar. They don't have any suitable wood product substitutes. There simply is no reason why cedar is part of this lumber fight.

I urge you to demonstrate your commitment to the thousands of jobs, hundreds of businesses and dozens of Canadian communities that depend on the WRC industry. Please tell President Bush that cedar should not be part of this dispute.

    That letter was addressed to the Prime Minister.

    There are literally thousands of names on a petition to the Prime Minister which states:

We are profoundly concerned about the future of the western red cedar (WRC) industry in Canada. Thousands of jobs will be lost unless the Canadian government acts now to have WRC removed from the current U.S. trade action against Canadian softwood lumber. Already thousands of people have been laid off as a result of the 19.3% duty imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Aug. 20, 2001.

We the following urge you to demonstrate your commitment to the thousands of jobs, hundreds of businesses and dozens of Canadian communities that depend on the WRC industry. Please tell President Bush that cedar should not be part of this dispute.

    I could go on and on. As I said, there are 15,000 people just in a short period of time.

    It is nice that the government and the minister met with the former governor today. It is great that they are talking to mayors in British Columbia. However they should not be impressed as to where we are as a country today. Think tonight about the 30,000 people who will be unemployed at Christmastime because we did not do our job as members of parliament. I do not blame just the government. I blame us in the opposition as well. Maybe we did not put up a big enough fight two years ago to get the Liberals off their seats to do the job. That is why people are unemployed.

    We asked the questions, but we did not get any answers.

    An hon. member: You did not have a trade critic.

    Mr. John Reynolds: The parliamentary secretary says we did not have a trade critic. I do not know what he was reading, because we did. That is an inaccurate statement.

    We are concerned. We have asked the questions. We have tried to get the government to move. The Liberals are moving now and I give them credit for that. They are putting on good action now. They probably have every spin doctor in the PMO working on this file right now because the government knows people are unemployed and are getting mad.

    I beg the government to solve this problem. Solve it for the people in western Canada and others who are going to lose their jobs across Canada. I met with the people in my riding. Again I invite the parliamentary secretary any time he wants to visit Squamish or any other city in British Columbia, I would be happy to take him personally in a very non-partisan way. I would like him to listen to what these people have to say.

  +-(1730)  

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    Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my capable colleague from Eglinton--Lawrence.

    It is quite ironic that we are debating this particular issue at this point in time. One would think this issue should not even be an issue for debate given that our two countries share the longest border in the world and that we do more trade with one another than any other countries in the world. Over 87% of our trade is with the United States as compared to over 25% of their trade being with Canada.

    To a large extent we are friends, neighbours and partners whether we like it or not. In the interests of people on both sides of the border we are forced to work collectively.

    The issue of softwood lumber represents less than 3% of the overall trade with the United States, slightly less than $10 billion on an annual basis.

    If we were to look at the overall relationship between Canada and the U.S., it is excellent. Frankly, it is those small irritants that are causing a tremendous amount of frustration on this side of the border. Simply put, the softwood lumber issue is clearly creating a tremendous amount of problems in different parts of the country.

    Thousands of families, as colleagues on both sides of the House have indicated, are suffering as a result of the countervailing duties and the punitive duties the Americans have decided to put on softwood lumber.

    This is not the first time the issue has surfaced. It is now three or four times that we have fought with our friend and trading partner to the south in courts and before tribunals and almost every time we have won. The last time we had a dispute, the Americans had to pay Canadian companies in excess of $800 million along with interest on taxes illegally collected from those companies on goods that had been sold on the other side of the border under an arrangement we had with them for many years.

    The American administration is moving again like a pit bull with an imposition on our industry in excess of 30%. Frankly, it is totally unacceptable. As the minister clearly stated, the challenge the government mounted at the World Trade Organization is very much wanted. The government and industry on this side of border will win again. The bottom line is, what does it take for the American administration when it comes to this particular issue to understand that enough is enough and that we have to move on?

    The bottom line is not a question of subsidies or no subsidies; it is a question of protectionism or no protectionism. The question that needs to be asked of the American administration is why it continually seems to buckle under to the pressure of special interests in the United States, whether it comes from Montana, Mississippi or wherever. Enough is enough.

    The unfair duties being imposed on the Canadian industry not only penalize the industry here in Canada, but they penalize American consumers. American consumers are absolutely outraged at the administration. American homeowners have to pay in excess of $3,000 as a result of this unfair tax being imposed on softwood lumber imported from Canada.

  +-(1735)  

    We could tell consumers in the United States to buy wood from Mississippi but consumer group after consumer group told us when we were in the United States that they do not like Mississippi wood. Even if we were to give it to them for free they would not put it in their homes simply because the wood from Mississippi is not good enough quality to put in homes. It may be okay to use for chairs, tables or whatever else, but it is not of sufficient quality to put in homes. That is the problem. That is the crux of the matter.

    American consumers are smart. They are intelligent. They are consumers who will pay for the high value goods they receive. The administration is robbing those consumers of their right to choose. How is it doing that? By imposing this unfair tax of 30% on products being imported from Canada.

    We can talk all we want. The government was asked to do this and that but the bottom line is the government has done exactly what it is supposed to do. After the agreement expired on March 31, 2001 what kicked in immediately was free trade. With free trade an agreement is not required. Everyone follows the law.

    Two things are being asked of our government. First, we want the government to know it has our unequivocal support in what it does in terms of its challenge at the World Trade Organization so the laws of the land are upheld. Second, if and when the industry itself in Canada asks the government to sit down and look at ways to come up with a mutually conclusive agreeable type of arrangement then it should look at that.

    For us to try to undermine the process and criticize the government, whether it is the opposition, special interest groups or whatever, is highly unfair. At the end of the day the government is doing exactly what it is supposed to do, which is to stand up for the interests of consumers, the workers and the industry and to do what is fair and important to the industry in Canada. Whether the industry is in the west or the east, it should stick together and maintain the common position that it has maintained all along, which is free trade in softwood lumber. That is what we were told in the United States when we met with consumer groups and when we met with the industry here.

    The subcommittee on international trade held a number of hearings with all of the stakeholders. They are totally and unequivocally in support of free trade on softwood lumber. Therefore the case is closed. Let us move on. The bottom line is, will our friends to the south move on? One can only say the test of time will tell.

    Our colleagues in both houses, the senate as well as the congress in the United States had better stand up for the rights of their consumers. They had better stand up for the rights of their constituents who are calling on them. We want free trade in softwood lumber. The very same consumers have called on us in the House to defend the interests of the consumers in the United States and to defend free trade as we know it now.

    To that extent I am very happy with the way the Minister for International Trade, his parliamentary secretary and officials have conducted themselves over the past few months. They have been trying to provide strong leadership. They have been trying to do what is right and fair on both sides of the equation.

    To that extent I can say this debate is very timely. However, in the interest of time we had better come to grips with the fact that free trade must prevail at all times. There cannot be a double standard where on the one hand products are bought under the rules of free trade and on the other hand taxes are imposed on them. It is not right. It is not free trade and it is not acceptable. We will not let that occur without a challenge.

  +-(1740)  

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    Mr. Joseph Volpe (Eglinton--Lawrence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to follow my colleague from Ottawa Centre, in part because he has given a big city member's perspective on the issue but, more important, because he has begun to focus the debate.

    For me the issue has not been so much about how we should say woe is us and look at the plight we are in. We should not point fingers at government inactivity or activity that is perhaps not what we would have liked. The member instead did something no one else has done. He said the ambassador is presumably following this debate. The issue is of interest to the Americans and it should be.

    What message would we give them? Should it be that we are whining, finger pointing and playing partisan politics? Should it be that we are ready to cast blame on the Prime Minister or other members in this place if not the industry itself? No, it should not.

    Thanks to the member for Ottawa Centre we now know what we should be doing. The message the ambassador and the embassy should be getting, as well as the people in the U.S. commerce department who are entrusted with this file, is that the resolve of the Canadian public, Canadian parliamentarians and Canadian industry has never been as firm as it is now.

    The hon. member indicated, as has my colleague from Thunder Bay--Superior North, that the industry is of vital importance to Canadians. Of course it is. Everyone knows that. Some 350 communities throughout Canada rely exclusively on the industry. It is important to everyone in the House. Eight per cent of our GDP relies on the timber industry. I am not yet taking into consideration the after market or downstream industry that develops from it.

    Mr. Speaker, you were on our natural resources committee about a year ago when we studied this issue. You will know and understand where I am coming from. The city of Toronto consumes about $1 billion of lumber on an annual basis. We consume about $.75 billion worth of plywood, an additional $200 million worth of wood panels and $1.5 billion worth of pulp and paper.

    The industry is important to all of us. Yet in terms of international trade, as the U.S. secretary of commerce has said, it amounts to only about 2% of trade between Canada and the United States. My colleague will correct me if I am wrong because we went down with delegations of parliamentarians to meet with our counterparts in the U.S. congress and senate.

    The U.S. secretary of commerce said lumber was an important issue but that it accounted for only about 2% of the trade between our two nations. Our response was that he was right but that for this 2% he was buckling under the pressure of one timber lobby that operates primarily out of three states.

    He was doing so because the U.S. system allows him to knuckle under to the bit of pressure some people may bring to bear as a result of whatever contributions they make to the democratic process during an election. For that 2% he would skew the entire relationship of two partners on the same continent.

    I would be embarrassed to admit that if I were in a position of authority. I would be ashamed to admit it if I were a congressman or a senator. I would have to look those people in the eye and ask wherein lies the interest of the American people and American industry. I would have to ask wherein lies the interest of the political and economic relationship we have with our neighbour to the north. It certainly is not in the pocketbook of the U.S. timber lobby.

  +-(1745)  

    Thank God Canadians are prepared, as are many of my colleagues here, to say no to the government. Those of us who went down to the United States to meet with our counterparts are prepared to say no to the government. Under no circumstances will we give in.

    We go to the WTO. My colleague from Thunder Bay--Superior North asks why we go to the WTO. It is because it is the one institution whose rules have an impact on American legislators and whose decisions carry with them the concept of precedence.

    We do not go to NAFTA. We have already won at NAFTA. Hon. members and my colleagues on the opposite side of the House know well enough that we have won at NAFTA not once, not twice, not three times, but every time we have gone to an FTA or NAFTA panel. We do not have to apologize for anything.

    What is the problem? It is not a Canadian problem. We are playing by American rules that were designed for Americans in an American system. It is a system where the executive must respond to congressmen and senators who insist that the commerce state department come up with the figures and facts that will support their contentions, invalid as they might be.

    What defence do we have? We have one defence. We go to the WTO. That is where we have said our interests lie. That is where all of us have said we find resident those decisions on which we will all abide while we concurrently pursue legal actions in American courts. It is costly but 350 communities depend on it.

    Canadian industries, including those in your riding, Mr. Speaker, are among the most competitive, innovative and technologically advanced in the entire world. That is why they are causing difficulties for the Americans.

    Our counterparts in the U.S. senate told us when we went down there that they would abandon everything. They told us not to drill holes and put grooves in our lumber. Why not? It is because those holes and grooves reduce the cost of housing by about seven days worth of labour. While American industry has been shipping logs to the Asian market, Canadian companies which do not have the same access to the Asian market have been improving their technology. They are the most competitive and environmentally sound worldwide.

    What happens? Instead of being rewarded for this they are being penalized. The Canadian government must come to the aid of such industry.

    I will speak for a moment about Ontario. We need a government that says yes, we will go to the WTO. Yes, we will be in trouble over the next while. My colleague from B.C. says we are losing thousands of jobs. There is no one on either side of the House who is more sorry that is the current situation, but we must look beyond today.

    The way we look beyond today is to say we have the methods available to us. What are the methods? We have EDC. We have financing abilities. We must give all these companies the opportunity to come up with the appropriate bonds while we pursue long term solutions.

    Will we be criticized for this? When someone is drowning we do not worry about where the life jacket came from. We make sure it gets on the drowning person. That is what we are doing. That is what we will do. That is the message we must give to embassy officials, the ambassador and all Americans watching today. There are no milquetoasts on this side of the House.

    My colleague from Thunder Bay indicated there are provincial governments that want to do much more and some that have quite frankly left leadership to others. That is not our problem. Ontario wants to be aggressive. As a member from Ontario I support that position. We know it is a solid position that can be supported by members from Quebec. We know it is a position that industry leaders from the Atlantic provinces would support because it is a long term solution.

  +-(1750)  

    All of us who have taken the issue to heart and want to defend the interests of our constituents at least as aggressively as those American senators, few that they are, want the Americans on the other side of the television screen to know we have resolve.

    Senator Graham, the one who wanted to be president, said that if one believes in free trade one must take everything that comes with it. We in my party are free traders.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Antoine Dubé (Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that I will be sharing my time with the member for Champlain.

    It is my pleasure to speak today in this emergency debate proposed by the Bloc Quebecois, and accepted by the Chair on Thursday last. In the end, this debate is taking place tonight because I believe it was more convenient for most members. I am also thrilled to hear from the Liberal members, because we often criticize them for being so silent. However, tonight it is fair to say that they seem to have found their voices, and we agree with what they have had to say.

    This really is an emergency debate, since on October 31, the U.S. department of commerce began charging an additional duty of 12.58% on top of the 19.3% countervailing duty charged in August.

    This is what three businesses in my riding were fearing when I met with their senior management on October 9. These three companies are Les bois Blanchet, owned by Leggett Wood, Moulin de préparation de bois en transit and Perfect-Bois. Together they employ 262 people.

    This may not seem like a lot of people when compared to Davie Industries, which was mentioned frequently yesterday in the House. However, 262 employees is considerable, and the consequences are considerable for them and their families. This also has an economic impact. It has an impact because it supports manufacturing, and that is important.

    I would also like to speak on behalf of the neighbouring ridings, because I am from the Chaudière—Appalaches region. This is one of the main areas in Quebec in terms of private forests. There are even businesses in the Chaudière—Appalaches region that process lumber from Maine, and then ship it back to the U.S.

    This is somewhat exceptional. It may well exist elsewhere, but a number of companies in the Beauce region depend on this. It worked well for people on both sides of the border. On the American side, as we know, around Beauce, there is a fairly large area, and the Americans were happy to come and process their lumber in Quebec, and then turn around and take it back to the U.S.

    Following recent events, the position of the Bloc Quebecois has not changed. I will repeat it and I know that several of my colleagues will do it also, but it cannot be overemphasized. As was mentioned by the Liberal members who just spoke, we want a complete return to free trade.

    If I may, I will make a remark of a somewhat partisan nature here. I will say in all friendship that it is reassuring now to hear Liberal members speak in favour of free trade in their speeches. I remember the 1993 election campaign when the Prime Minister went as far as to talk about tearing up the free trade agreement. It is kind of amusing to see the change, but it is also interesting to see that these people have understood the importance of free trade in today's context.

    We are calling for a meeting of all stakeholders to review Canada's strategy in this matter. For the past week, I have heard the Minister for International Trade say on several occasions “Yes, I talk to them. I phone them individually”.

    However, as a group, the stakeholders want a summit to give everybody the opportunity to discuss this issue at the same time, to ensure that the agreement between the stakeholders continues to exist, to ensure that there are no backroom negotiations or last minute concessions.

    We are concerned in Quebec because we are the second province that is the most affected by this issue, after British Columbia, of course. Quebec has 25% of Canada's production in that industry, which represents 40,000 jobs.

  +-(1755)  

    The sawmills employ 20,430 people and the forestry industry 10,000. We know that the total in Canada is in excess of 130,000 jobs. The softwood lumber industry injects more than $4 billion into the Quebec economy annually. That is a lot of money.

    More than 250 Quebec municipalities have developed around lumber processing, and in 135 towns and villages 100% of manufacturing jobs are connected with it. The U.S. receives 51.4% of Quebec softwood lumber exports. The value of these exports is some $2 billion. This is all extremely important.

    An aside here, for a rather special point. Yes, the Liberal MPs are fervent promoters of free trade. That is all very well, but I would point out that certain things like Davie Industries, shipbuilding and shipping were excluded from NAFTA. This is something I have always found regrettable and still do.

    The American attitude is very often protectionist. Even in another area—not the subject of debate this evening—this was the case for tomatoes. Yet the Americans need us, particularly when it comes to fighting terrorism. We agree with them, but they often do need us. So they also need to play fair with softwood lumber.

    The Bloc Quebecois is calling upon the Prime Minister to intervene personally with President Bush in order to get him to understand this. Today, during Oral Question Period, my leader called for a publicity campaign to raise the American public's awareness of the problem. It is in the best interests of the U.S. consumer to have more affordable, quality lumber for construction.

    One cannot be pro-free trade just when it suits one country. One must be pro-free trade all the time and in all areas, if one believes in the principle.

    There is one aspect of the problem the Liberal MPs have not addressed, although I believe they are sympathetic to these proposals. Emergency measures would have to be adopted to help those who are unemployed because of the softwood lumber crisis. First, by reducing the number of hours required to qualify for EI. Let us keep in mind that all this started in August and lumbering is a seasonal job.

    The Bloc Quebecois is calling for a single minimum threshold of 420 hours for seasonal workers to be eligible for employment insurance.

    Second, the Bloc is calling for an increase of five weeks in the maximum benefit period. Third, it wants longer benefits for older workers who have been laid off and who lack the skills needed to find another job quickly. Fourth, the Bloc proposes an increase in the coverage of insurable earnings from 55% to 60% to allow low and medium income workers to better endure a lengthy work stoppage.

    I know that my time is passing quickly, but we have heard Liberal members, the Prime Minister and the Minister of International Trade speak of free trade. This last person sometimes uses words that make us a bit nervous. Without speaking of negotiations, he talks of discussions and of the fact that they will do something based on free trade. This hints at a certain compromise that will not exactly be free trade and at certain conditions.

    I am delighted by the speeches of the Liberal members who spoke before me. I think they sort of reminded their government of the way to go, although I realize that to be a member of the party in office is like diplomacy. They cannot proceed quite as directly as a member of the opposition.

  +-(1800)  

    Still, I enjoyed the speeches I heard, and I hope this will be the line followed by the current Liberal government, the Prime Minister and the Minister of International Trade.

+-

    Mr. Marcel Gagnon (Champlain, BQ): Mr. Speaker, at this time of the day, and considering the number of speeches heard on this issue, one is under the impression that everything has been said, or almost.

    Still, I want to add my voice to those of my colleagues and thank the Bloc Quebecois for proposing this emergency debate. As we know, an emergency debate does not always enjoy the unanimous support of the House. But I sense that today we are close to it. I am convinced that if there are forestry workers listening to us, at least they will be unanimous.

    My region is one of Quebec's most important forestry regions. In the riding of Champlain and surrounding areas, there are close to 3,800 forestry workers. I recently had the opportunity to meet some of them and I can say that, for them, it is urgent that the situation be settled.

    When forestry workers in the Haute-Mauricie or elsewhere in Quebec lose their jobs, possibly the only jobs that they can have, they hope for a quick settlement.

    In La Tuque and in more remote areas in the bush, the choice of jobs is limited, particularly at this time of the year. When we see plant closures, or when we live in fear of such closures, it is extremely difficult, particularly just two months before Christmas, at the beginning of winter.

    Earlier, the minister congratulated the Prime Minister and congratulated himself on the debate and on their efforts to try to settle the softwood lumber issue. I agree that they worked hard, but the fact is that so far their efforts have been in vain.

    Perhaps the strategy could have been different. Perhaps the minister could have sought out all stakeholders across the country so that, together, they could present a common front. He said he let the provinces and industries negotiate; but this is perhaps not the time to negotiate, because the negotiation has already taken place.

    It took place when we signed the free trade agreement. Will we have to launch into negotiations all over again every time there is a problem? I do not think that the minister wants to negotiate. I think that he wants to see the free trade agreement respected. But, for that, a very firm approach will probably be required.

    For workers in our region, as for workers elsewhere in Quebec and Canada, who face losing their jobs because of the arrogance—and perhaps, a bit, the contempt—of the American government, I think that this is a bit contemptuous.

    We heard that, at the meetings, the American government said that lumber accounted for barely 2% of trade. But it is 100% of the earnings of forestry workers. It is 100% of their worries about the winter ahead. It is 100% of their income, with respect to all the things they will have to pay for to provide for their families.

    For a big government, for a big country which not only thinks it is rich, but is, this 2% is perhaps a way of flexing its muscles. It is perhaps only 2% of trade, but it is 100% of the problem of workers who have to contend with this arrogance.

    Recently, some workers asked me to explain free trade to them, to explain who it was for and why we had it. I am for free trade. We said this today, and I think that most people are for it. But must it all be one-sided?

  +-(1805)  

    Can a government, through its arrogance or because of the pressures from influential people, interfere at any old time and create a mess elsewhere claiming that free trade applies more or less in some cases, because they claim there are subsidies that should not exist? If free trade is going to work, then it has to work both ways. When we sign a free trade agreement, it has to be respected by both sides.

    We cannot forget that this issue has already been heard by the WTO, and we won. The minister once said here in the House that we need not worry, that we would win again. He said that at some point, the U.S. government would be required to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in duties it had charged us for nothing.

    But the workers who lost their jobs, their homes and who, in some cases, had to take their children out of school, because they could no longer afford it—in the case of a child that wanted to go to university—they were not paid for their damages. They had to suffer.

    It would seem to me that in this day and age, especially given the events that took place recently, people should start governing with more compassion, keeping in mind those they have made to suffer and whom they could help with the laws and regulations they adopt.

    From time to time, I have the opportunity to meet Americans, since half of my family is American. When it comes to incidents such as this one, I find it difficult to congratulate their government. Some have talked about American consumers. But it is not all American consumers who agree with the pressures that have been brought to bear. American consumers are not done any favours when they are forced to pay, as the member mentioned, something in the order of $3,000 or $3,500 more for a house because of duties.

    At some point, there needs to be pressure so that when an agreement is reached, when it is also important for the future of workers, the agreement needs to be respected and arrogance and contempt have to be put aside.

    I am asking the Canadian government to show as much leadership as possible in this matter, not to negotiate and not to make any tradeoffs. We cannot make tradeoffs on such an agreement by saying “If you honour your agreement, we will give you increased access to our resources”. It simply cannot be done.

    Such an agreement must be honoured. I think that the government and the Prime Minister must take a strong stance, with the support of all those who have a say in this matter, so that we have a common position to solve this problem once and for all, and not at half price. Softwood lumber must be included in the free trade agreement.

    We must also think about the workers who, inevitably, as I said earlier, will suffer the consequences. It seems to me that with an accumulated surplus of $35, $36 or $37 billion in the employment insurance fund, now is the time to show a little more compassion. That money belongs to forest workers as much as it belongs to anybody else. Now is the time to show a little more compassion by relaxing eligibility requirements somewhat.

    When workers lose their jobs with winter fast approaching and, on top of being unemployed, they cannot get EI benefits because of stricter eligibility requirements, even though they paid premiums, that qualifies as hardship.

    On behalf of these workers, I am asking the government, as did my colleague who spoke before me, to relax EI eligibility requirements to help them get through the winter.

*   *   *

  +-(1810)  

[English]

+-Message from the Senate

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair): Before resuming debate I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed Bill S-33, an act to amend the Carriage by Air Act, to which the concurrence of the House is desired.

*   *   *

-Softwood Lumber

     The House resumed consideration of the motion.

+-

    Mr. Brent St. Denis (Algoma--Manitoulin, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Mississauga West, who like myself has his roots in Algoma district. I am pleased to be sharing this time with him.

    This is a very serious subject and all members of the House share that sentiment. While we might argue over the details and over what should best be done in this very difficult time, we do agree that what the U.S. industry in conjunction with its government is doing is truly unfair to our softwood lumber sector.

    When we think of the sector, we think of the mills and their workers. Some think of the investors without whom it would not be possible to build and expand mills. However, let us think more carefully about the families of those workers. Let us think of the bush workers who do not go to the mill with their logs but who are a very important part of the industry and, of course, the truckers, without whom the logs would not get to the mills. The bush workers, truckers and suppliers have families as well.

    The loss of a job in a mill because of the unfair U.S. approach to trade with Canada on softwood lumber has an impact well beyond that worker. It is a small business and many more people are affected.

    In my large northern Ontario riding of Algoma--Manitoulin, there is a large number of small communities that depend upon the softwood lumber industry. I will not name them all, but communities like Chapleau, White River, Espanola, Thessalon and a number of others would not have a major employer in their communities without the softwood lumber industry.

    You are from northern Ontario, Mr. Speaker, and you know very well that our economy has depended for many generations upon the primary resources of forestry and mining. Fortunately in the latter decades tourism has come along to create jobs and augment our economy. However, we always go back to our primary sectors, in the case of my riding to forestry, to maintain our local economy, to make sure our people are not forced to move away to find employment and to make sure there are jobs in the industry for young people to come back to once they graduate from college or university.

    The forestry sector is quite a high tech sector. This is probably one of the root causes of our problem with the Americans. The American industry has not kept up. It has not made the investments in its mills and bush operations that would have allowed it to be as competitive and efficient as our mills.

    Members of the House may have been to mills where computers are used to maximize every bit of the log to make sure that the optimal number of board feet come out of a tree so that there is very little waste. Without computerization our industry would not be the leader it is.

    It also seems to me that we are jeopardized because we happen to have vast resources in forestry. We also happen to have vast resources in energy. I doubt that when it comes to energy our American friends will complain if we can provide them with energy at a very competitive price. They should look at our plentiful energy and our plentiful forests as a resource over which not to fight, but over which we should be allowed to compete fairly.

    We each have our domestic advantages. The Americans have a longer growing season. In many cases they have much better terrain on which to harvest their forests. These are their natural advantages. They perhaps have a more extensive road system simply because they have a greater population. Those advantages are not present in Canada, but we have other advantages so it is all balances out.

  +-(1815)  

    I believe that as this works its way through the system, and I remain confident that a solution will be found, a solution will be found, one that is for the long term and not a five year patch as we have been forced into too many times over the last few decades.

    I have great confidence in our international trade minister who has spoken with a very strong voice. He has brought together the industry and provinces in a way that we have not seen in past attempts to deal with our American friends on softwood lumber. I have great confidence in his ability to get us through this.

    I know we are coming to the 11th hour. It will not be too many weeks from now that the final determinations will be made. To remind those who question the commitment of the government, and they should not question it, the Prime Minister has on numerous occasions over the last weeks and months, if not years, raised the softwood lumber issue with the president of the U.S. Year in and year out the issue was raised with the American secretary of trade. However there is no accounting for the ceaseless attempts by the U.S. forest lobby to undermine, criticize and incorrectly characterize Canada's softwood lumber industry.

    For the benefit of my constituents and others who may be listening, I reiterate that the minister talked about a two track approach. The legal side would require preparation for a WTO challenge. Hopefully the Americans will respond appropriately should they lose that challenge, but in the meantime Canada and U.S. officials, at the industry, provincial and federal levels are having ongoing discussions with our American neighbours to try to find a solution once and for all. I am confident that will take place.

    It is about not negotiating. Canada does not have to negotiate from the position that it already takes. We do trade fairly in lumber. We do not subsidize our industry. Our industry does not dump product into the U.S. market. There is no real proof of injury to the U.S. producers. I do not believe it to be necessary for us to negotiate but I agree it is important to discuss. Maybe it is a matter of the U.S. finding a way to get through it on its side which mollifies its industry.

    I accept and understand that some provinces are looking at the way they contract out tracts of forest with so-called stumpage fees. Maybe there is some room for improvement there, although I have heard it said that should our forest resources be tendered or auctioned out at market, that in many cases the prices will be lower than the stumpage fees charged, so our American friends may be in for a surprise. They might want to be careful for what they wish.

    Some of my colleagues across the way call for the government to do more. I doubt that we can do more except to remain diligent. It is naive to believe that we can tell the Americans what to do on any given subject. They have to see the resolution in terms of what is best for them, an understandable position if one is discussing an important subject from two different points of view.

    I believe at the end of the day the Americans will realize that it is in their best interests to deal fairly under NAFTA and under the emerging rules that govern world trade. It is incumbent upon them to accept the discipline that comes with free trade.

    As a nation we are free traders. We are attempting to adjust as we must to the new world trade realities. I call upon our American friends to do the same.

    I appreciate this chance to say a few words on a very important subject. I know that all colleagues in the House agree that we have to find a long term solution.

  +-(1820)  

+-

    Mr. Steve Mahoney (Mississauga West, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first, I want to say how much I empathize and sympathize with the people who have spoken in this place expressing concern over the possible job loss, particularly at this time of year, but at any time of year. They fear what may happen in their communities as a result of the closing of mills and the loss of business resulting from these punitive actions and movements by the United States government.

    While I do have some northern Ontario roots, as my friend from Algoma mentioned, being from Sault Ste. Marie, I also represent a riding that is very reliant upon the lumber industry in a community like Mississauga. I cannot imagine the damage that would happen to the housing industry if we lost our mills or if we had to resort to importing wood from Mississippi or Tennessee, perhaps at exorbitant prices as was referred to earlier. This would have a rippling effect and could affect not only jobs and economies of places like Thunder Bay and other parts of northern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, B.C., but it could have an effect throughout the country.

    Canada controls something in the neighbourhood of 21% of the world market in lumber, so it is an important sector of the Canadian economy. It is important for my riding and for urban ridings equally, perhaps not as obvious at first blush, because of the impact it could have.

    When the NAFTA agreement was entered into, I was not in this place but rather in another place at Queen's Park. I recall the debate wherein people used the phrase “It's like getting into bed with an elephant”. If that elephant rolls over or decides to do whatever, it is done and a person has no defence. The reality is that the elephant in this case has attempted to roll over onto the mouse in the past and the mouse has kicked back, challenged and won at the WTO.

    It continues again. The elephant is a little twitchy, nervous and does not quite understand how this can happen. The most powerful nation with the biggest lobby groups in the world feels it should have its way on this particular issue.

    I have thought about this and asked myself: What is the real issue? People I talked to in my community get confused with all the acronyms such as WTO and NAFTA and the words countervailing and duties to be paid. They hear all this and wonder what is going on.

    In my view, this is much more than simply a trade dispute. This is potentially an attack the sovereignty of Canada. I have heard it said before, and I have often thought it was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, that we can determine our own sovereignty and that no one can take it away from us.

    Let us analyze what is happening.

    Canada has a system of licensing out to corporations the harvesting rights on crown land so they can harvest the wood under a reforestation plan, or an under an environmental plan or working in with groups like MNR and local communities in Ontario to determine how much of the forest should be harvested. Let me call it stumpage. We have that all over the country. Stumpage is a public manner in which we manage our forest inventory.

    The United States system is quite different. The lands are privately owned. Corporations go in and simply do what they want. There may be some environmental constrictions, remembering that they respond to the shareholder on the bottom line. They have to decide corporately how they will manage their particular inventory.

  +-(1825)  

    If times are tough maybe they step it up a bit. If times are good maybe they back off and move somewhere else. Do they pay attention to reforestation policies to the same degree as our provincial governments do? We all know that forestry comes under the jurisdiction of the provinces. That is another issue. They want to tell us how we should interact as a federal government with our provincial partners and our industry partners. We should simply do it the way they do.

    The Americans say that stumpage is an unfair subsidy because it is crown land and we do not charge enough for the licences that we give out. Yet there is so much more to it in terms of reforestation.

    I want to share with the House a small example of the detail and the level to which our officials in the province of Ontario and elsewhere in the country actually manage their forests. My wife and I own a small cottage property in the Parry Sound area. We were told that a licence had been given out to a forestry company to come in right behind us and take out a number of trees. We called and found out that the ministry of natural resources had assigned the responsibility to a consulting firm to do a complete inventory and analysis of the site in question.

    We met with those folks. The bottom line was very interesting. Two separate licences were given to the same company in the same general area on our lake. The nest of a red shouldered hawk was discovered on the crown land behind our property. Everything came to a grinding halt because of this red shouldered hawk.

    The level of detail had an individual actually walking through the forest doing an inventory of the trees, marking the trees that could be removed under this licensing agreement and then discovering that there was a species at risk nesting in the area and calling the whole thing off. I was not afraid to have a bit of culling done in the forest behind our property, but I was quite impressed with the conservation attitude.

    How does my story relate? It seems to m